Consultation on increasing the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility in NI

Consultation opened on 03 October 2022. Closing date 23 December 2022.


The Department is holding a public consultation on increasing the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) in Northern Ireland.


Consultation description

The Department wants to hear your views on the proposal that the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility – or MACR – in Northern Ireland should be raised from the current age of 10 years to 14 years, to comply with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommendation that the MACR for Member States should be at least 14 years of age and preferably higher.  We would encourage respondents to read the consultation document above, which sets out the background and information on the issue, and to answer the consultation questions via the on-line Citizen Space platform on the NIDirect website

If you are unable to respond using our online consultation facility, you can email your response using the response template above to the following address:  or you can write to us at:

Reducing Offending Division
Room 306
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road

We would be particularly pleased to hear from children and young people, as they are the group most impacted by this issue. 

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