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China lowers age of criminally liability to 12 in special cases

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2020-12-26 15:51
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The age of criminal responsibility in China has been lowered to 12 years old in some special conditions in accordance with a newly amended law, as a move to fight serious offenses committed by the very young.

The amendment to the Criminal Law was passed by the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, on Saturday after a third review. The revised law will take effect from March 1.

Under the amended law, children aged 12 to 14 should be held criminally liable for intentional homicide or intentional injury that leads to death or causes others severe disabilities by extremely cruel means. The process should also be approved by the Supreme People's Procuratorate. 

The age of criminal liability in the country is 16, with people between 14 and 16 are to be held criminal liable if they commit serious violent crimes, including intentional homicide, intentional injury, rape and robbery.

Those under the age of 14 who commit crimes, except for the special conditions newly added in the law, are exempt from criminal punishment, but they should be given special correctional education if necessary.

Before the adoption, the law was reviewed by the legislature in June and October.

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