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Age of criminal responsibility in SVG is 8 years old

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The age of criminal responsibility in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is eight years old.

This means that once a minor is eight years or older, he or she can be arrested and charged with a crime.{{more}}

A legal expert told SEARCHLIGHT that although someone as young as eight years old may be charged and found guilty of a crime, the problem in SVG would be where would that child serve his or her sentence if he or she is sentenced to jail.

The expert said that juvenile convicts should be imprisoned at a special juvenile facility, as anyone under the age of 16 cannot be incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prisons, as minors must not be mixed with adult convicts.

In relation to a trial, the experienced lawyer told SEARCHLIGHT that two options are available. The case may be heard at the Family Court, where all sessions are in camera or in special in camera proceedings at the Serious Offences Court or the High Court.

The legal expert explained that if a minor is charged with murder, particular challenges arise. He explained that normally, if a person is charged with murder, bail is not granted. However, where would a minor be kept if he or she faces a murder charge, given that minors should not be mixed with adult convicts?

The expert opined that depending on the circumstances, the minor may be charged with manslaughter to enable the granting of bail.

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