Liberal: Abolish minimum criminal age

The Liberal Party’s Social Affairs Spokeswoman Ellen Trane Nørby is proposing that the minimum age for criminal liability be abolished and that a new system of juvenile courts be established.

Denmark currently has a minimum age for criminal liability at 15, although there are plans to reduce this to 14.

“At the risk of complicating the debate further, I would rather have that instead of reducing the criminal age, we got rid of it altogether,” Trane Nørby says in her blog on

“As far as conventions are concerned we could set it at 18,” Trane Nørby writes, adding that all under-18’s would then be subject to a juvenile court.

According to Trane Nørby a separate juvenile court system for all under 18’s would have various benefits.

Among others in “improving the rule of law for young offenders, because they would have their cases heard in a juvenile court system instead of being subjected to arbitrary evaluations from case officers who are lenient one day and strict the next,” Trane Nørby writes.

14 it is
Trane Nørby’s suggestion runs contrary to the government’s wishes to reduce the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14 – a proposal that the Danish People’s Party supports.

Last week, Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen said the proposal was not for negotiation.

“We have taken a political decision and it will be 14. We find this the right thing to do after we have evaluated it as part of the overall package,” Mikkelsen said.