Child Justice Amendment Bill Tabled

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

A bill that seeks to increase the minimum age of criminal capacity of a child from ten years to twelve years has been tabled in parliament.

The Child Justice Amendment Bill also aims to remove the requirement to prove criminal capacity for purposes of diversion and preliminary inquiries.

The bill seeks to amend the Child Justice Act of 2008, so as to:

•    amend a definition;
•    further regulate the minimum age of criminal capacity;
•    further regulate the provisions relating to the decision to prosecute a child who is 12 years or older but under the age of 14 years;
•    further regulate the proof of criminal capacity;
•    further regulate the assessment report by the probation officer;
•    further regulate the factors to be considered by a prosecutor when diverting a matter before a preliminary inquiry;
•    further regulate the factors to be considered by an inquiry magistrate when diverting a matter at a preliminary inquiry;
•    further regulate the orders that may be made at the preliminary inquiry;
•    amend wording in order to facilitate the interpretation of a phrase;
•    further regulate the factors to be considered by a judicial officer when diverting a matter in a child justice court; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 41952.

The bill will be processed by the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: