China’s amended law lowering criminal liability age to 12 takes effect

China’s age of criminal responsibility has been lowered to 12 in special cases to prevent serious offenses by very young individuals, per a Criminal Law amendment effective from Monday.

Under Amendment XI to the Criminal Law, children aged 12 to 14 shall be held criminally liable for intentional homicide by extremely cruel means or intentional injury by extremely cruel means leading to death or severe disability if such prosecution requests are approved by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature, adopted the amendment in December 2020.