Islamic Ministry calls for lowering age of prosecution for minors to 10 years-old

The Islamic Ministry’s Fiqh Academy has requested parliament lower the age of prosecution for minors stipulated in the the Penal Code bill from 14 to 10 years-old, reports local media.

MP Ahmed Hamza, chairperson of the parliamentary committee reviewing the Penal Code Bill,
has said that international conventions state the age of prosecution for minors is 15 years-old.

“The age for a minor to be advised to mend his ways for forgoing compulsory deeds is 10 years-old,” according to the Fiqh Academy. Their commentary submitted to the parliamentary committee also claims that minors who commit offenses in the Maldives are 11 years-old or above.

Hamza claims that the Prosecutor General (PG) supports keeping the age of prosecution at 14 years-old, as stipulated in the current penal code bill draft.

“We will decide on setting an age after reflecting on the [international] conventions Maldives is party to, amongst other things. They are saying that the age given in the current penal code already poses some constraints,” said Hamza.

“The PG in favour of it being kept as it is, as in the current penal code, at 14 years. The Foreign Ministry has no objection to this either. But the Islamic Ministry is asking that it be lowered to 10,” he added.

The age for prosecuting minors is one of two penal code issues currently under debate. The second issue surrounds a recently added clause regarding someone convicted of a crime being sentenced according to the penal code stipulations, according to Hamza.