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The Social Sciences
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 797 - 806

The Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility of Children in International and Iranian Law: A Comparative Study

R. Nordin, S. Mousavi and R. Shapiee    

Abstract: Research on the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) of children has been quite evident in the past decade. The MACR of children is a challenge to the global perception to children's rights. The difficulties associated with ideological differences concerning concepts of the MACR by states based on social, religious and cultural structures. The concept of the MACR has evolved over history and has been interpreted in various ways with the absence of a precise definition by different worldviews. Legal framework requires putting aside different belief systems and exploring the convergence of views from different belief systems. Hence, international legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) have been framed to be adaptive to cultural and social circumstances in all states, increasing the potential ease of implementation and consider all aspects of a child’s life and development, particular in regards to the MACR. In the present study, a comparison on legal framework of the MACR of children is made between two legal systems: International and Iran law. While, the UNCRC appears to assume from a theoretical standpoint that generally accepted international norms exist among State Parties regarding the MACR of children; the present study attempts to analyse the legal framework, under international and Iranian law, regarding the MACR of children as a prominent status of children's rights. The findings reflect the processes and standards existing in the two legal frameworks, particularly at the distinctions in the two legal systems. The findings also demonstrate deficiencies and lack of compliant with international legal standards in the Iranian legal systems regarding the MACR of children.

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