The Council of Attorneys-General have decided to continue detaining children as young as 10 years old despite fierce lobbying by human rights and legal groups.
Currently, anywhere in Australia a child as young as 10 could be charged and detained, which is out of step with international standard of 14 years old.
It was hoped by human rights and legal groups that a meeting of attorneys-general from across the country yesterday would change that, however it was decided that the reform was not needed.
The council says they want to see more work done on what alternative arrangements would look like.
Following the meeting, New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakmean said incarcerating children in his state was not common and he isn’t convinced raising the age is needed.
The practice of detaining children as young as 10 years old has been slammed by many in the legal sector.
President of the Law Council of Australia, Pauline Wright says locking up children entrenches criminality and raising the age would be a step in breaking the cycle.
The head of the national peak for Indigenous legal services says children need better support and opportunities than being criminalised by the justice system.
Noongar woman and Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Roxanne Moore says we need to change our approach to dealing with children coming in contact with the system.
Nyamal woman and psychologist, Tracey Westerman says the resources put into locking up children should go into intervention and support.