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A question concerning those aged 16 and 17 years old

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Xenophon PCDGS

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When I was having a hospital appointment this morning, I heard a discussion between two fellow patients that said if 16 and 17 year old people are granted the power to vote in the future, would it follow that in court cases, people in those age groups who can currently not be named in reporting of such cases will then be named. I wonder what our website contributors think of that line of reasoning.
 
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hexagon789

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When I was having a hospital appointment this morning, I heard a discussion between two fellow patients that said if 16 and 17 year old people are granted the power to vote in the future, would it follow that in court cases, people in those age groups who can currently not be named in reporting of such cases will then be named. I wonder what our website contributors think of that line of reasoning.
16 and 17 year olds already have the vote in Scotland, and the legal age if majority in Scotland is 16 not 18. Though I'd need to research how that works for court cases up here.

Ultimately I would expect it would only if the legal age of majority was also reduced to 16 in England.
 

GusB

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Reporting Restrictions: children under 18​


Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

Section 47 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (here) prohibits the publication of the name, address, school or any particulars calculated to lead to the identification of any person under the age of 18 who is an accused, victim or witness in criminal proceedings.
Where a person under the age of 18 years is concerned in the proceedings as a witness only, and no one against whom the proceedings are taken is under the age of 18 years, the requirements shall not apply unless the court so directs.
This applies even when such details are revealed in open court. The media may apply to have this restriction lifted through a court motion or by lodging a formal minute.

According to this, it's illegal for a witness, victim or accused to be named in a criminal case if they're under 18. However, restrictions can be lifted in certain circumstances, and this is what happened during the Alesha McPhail case where a 16 year-old was accused and convicted of her murder.

It goes on to say:
Formerly the Act covered children under the age of 16. This change comes into effect from 1 September 2015.

I was certain I could remember seeing the court reports in the local paper naming people who were under 18 and this statement would confirm.
 

hexagon789

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According to this, it's illegal for a witness, victim or accused to be named in a criminal case if they're under 18. However, restrictions can be lifted in certain circumstances, and this is what happened during the Alesha McPhail case where a 16 year-old was accused and convicted of her murder.

It goes on to say:


I was certain I could remember seeing the court reports in the local paper naming people who were under 18 and this statement would confirm.
I had forgotten about the law change, presumably in tandem with when they raised the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12? I think that was around then.
 

Butts

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If sixteen and seventeen year olds are allowed to vote up here, why are they not allowed to Buy Cigarettes, Fireworks or Alcohol ?
 

hexagon789

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If sixteen and seventeen year olds are allowed to vote up here, why are they not allowed to Buy Cigarettes, Fireworks or Alcohol ?
They used to be, but as with the lottery last month the age limits have been increased now.

Personally I disagree with the increases, if you can vote, can get married, buy a house, join the army - why shouldn't you be able to buy alcohol, fireworks, tobacco or lottery tickets? The responsibilities are arguably greater with former things.
 

Butts

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They used to be, but as with the lottery last month the age limits have been increased now.

Personally I disagree with the increases, if you can vote, can get married, buy a house, join the army - why shouldn't you be able to buy alcohol, fireworks, tobacco or lottery tickets? The responsibilities are arguably greater with former things.

There should be one age of majority - either 16 or 18 not the current contradictory state of affairs.
 

JonathanH

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If sixteen and seventeen year olds are allowed to vote up here, why are they not allowed to Buy Cigarettes
The legal age at which to buy cigarettes is only going to go up with a view to eventually phasing them out - it will be 21, then 25, then an outright ban.


ROADMAP TO A SMOKEFREE 2030

In July 2019, the UK Government set out its ambition for England to be smokefree by 2030. Government guidelines say the next steps should have been announced by 6th January 2020, but it has yet to do so. ASH, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Royal College of Physicians, the British Medical Association, the British Lung Foundation, the Royal Society for Public Health and many others are calling on the Government to adopt our Roadmap to a Smokefree 2030.
 

Butts

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The legal age at which to buy cigarettes is only going to go up with a view to eventually phasing them out - it will be 21, then 25, then an outright ban.


Absolute garbage - do you work for ASH ?

Where do you start and stop on the list of different things? What Can You Do at What Age? | Young Scot

Why not drive a car or a articulated HGV at age 16 too [age for these are 17 and 21 respectively]?

I'd make it 18 for everything except HGV which I would keep at 21.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I wonder why some documents refer to "Children under 18". Is that to conform to the legal use of the word "children" being under that age. Does anyone have any legal knowledge about the use of the word "children" in that respect and if the said age has been different in past times.
 

hexagon789

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There should be one age of majority - either 16 or 18 not the current contradictory state of affairs.
Agreed, there should be one age across the board. The very recently increase in the lottery purchase age was not well publicised and many seem unaware of the change for one.

Where do you start and stop on the list of different things? What Can You Do at What Age? | Young Scot

Why not drive a car or a articulated HGV at age 16 too [age for these are 17 and 21 respectively]?
Why not? You can hold a PPL at 17 and I'd argue the skillset is far greater than for driving an HGV.

I'm not saying that the age limits should be 16, I'm arguing that these things all have similar levels of responsibility so why shouldn't they have similar age limits even if that is 18.

I wonder why some documents refer to "Children under 18". Is that to conform to the legal use of the word "children" being under that age. Does anyone have any legal knowledge about the use of the word "children" in that respect and if the said age has been different in past times.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you are legally defined as a child until 18. This is a reduction from the previous age of majority of 21 which the Family Law Reform Act 1969 brought in. Before 1969 anyone under 21 was legally defined as an 'infant'.

It should be noted that historically however (Mediaeval era) while the the age of majority was 21 for men, the age was 14 for married and 16 for unmarried women in England.
 

Kite159

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The legal age at which to buy cigarettes is only going to go up with a view to eventually phasing them out - it will be 21, then 25, then an outright ban.


The double edge sword is with an outright ban is how the government will recover the tax revenues that will be lost with outright banning the sale of cigarettes
 

DynamicSpirit

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There should be one age of majority - either 16 or 18 not the current contradictory state of affairs.

I'm not sure I'd agree. The problem is that - if you look at it from a perspective of, how do people mature - then there obviously isn't a single day on which people magically turn from children into adults who are suddenly mature and have enough life experience to make all sorts of decisions about all aspects of their life that they weren't mature enough to make on the day before. Rather, it's a gradual process that takes many years (arguably, it's a whole lifetime for some things!). Any fixed age you choose is therefore going to be to some extent arbitrary - but you could argue that having different ages of majority for different things at least better matches the reality that turning into an adult is a gradual process. That seems to me more realistic than just picking the same day for everything.
 

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I'm not sure I'd agree. The problem is that - if you look at it from a perspective of, how do people mature - then there obviously isn't a single day on which people magically turn from children into adults who are suddenly mature and have enough life experience to make all sorts of decisions about all aspects of their life that they weren't mature enough to make on the day before. Rather, it's a gradual process that takes many years (arguably, it's a whole lifetime for some things!). Any fixed age you choose is therefore going to be to some extent arbitrary - but you could argue that having different ages of majority for different things at least better matches the reality that turning into an adult is a gradual process. That seems to me more realistic than just picking the same day for everything.

So you would be happy for someone to vote at the age of 16 but not be able to buy a packet of cigarettes ?

Where is the rationale for that ?
 

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So you would be happy for someone to vote at the age of 16 but not be able to buy a packet of cigarettes ?

Where is the rationale for that ?
I'm not quite sure why you're kicking up such a fuss about this. Increasing the legal age at which one is allowed to buy alcohol and tobacco is hardly going to affect you personally. If you do encounter a situation where you're asked to provide identification when purchasing these products, then good on you for maintaining a youthful appearance!

Increasing the age at which these products can be purchased can only be a good thing, and I say this as a smoker of over 20 years. The age for tobacco was 16 when I started and it was around 12 years later that it was increased to 18. For me it started out with sharing a spliff with my other half at the age of 20 and from there I progressed to being a "social" smoker when I was out in pubs and clubs. It was nice to get that temporary nicotine buzz occasionally, but I could take it or leave it; the morning I walked to work and popped into the newsagent and bought my first cheeky 10 pack of Regal was when I was hooked in. Had the legal age been 21 and ID requested, it wouldn't have happened.

The act of putting a cross on a ballot paper is very different to that of sparking up your first cigarette.
 

Butts

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I'm not quite sure why you're kicking up such a fuss about this. Increasing the legal age at which one is allowed to buy alcohol and tobacco is hardly going to affect you personally. If you do encounter a situation where you're asked to provide identification when purchasing these products, then good on you for maintaining a youthful appearance!

Increasing the age at which these products can be purchased can only be a good thing, and I say this as a smoker of over 20 years. The age for tobacco was 16 when I started and it was around 12 years later that it was increased to 18. For me it started out with sharing a spliff with my other half at the age of 20 and from there I progressed to being a "social" smoker when I was out in pubs and clubs. It was nice to get that temporary nicotine buzz occasionally, but I could take it or leave it; the morning I walked to work and popped into the newsagent and bought my first cheeky 10 pack of Regal was when I was hooked in. Had the legal age been 21 and ID requested, it wouldn't have happened.

The act of putting a cross on a ballot paper is very different to that of sparking up your first cigarette.

Yes, but it is a choice that you should be able to exercise as a mature individual. If you are considered capable of making a rational choice about one then why not the other ?
 

DynamicSpirit

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So you would be happy for someone to vote at the age of 16 but not be able to buy a packet of cigarettes ?

Where is the rationale for that ?

Personally I'd prefer to keep the voting age at 18, but the answer would be, yes-ish. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with allowing voting at 16 than with allowing buying cigarettes at 16. Voting doesn't have the addictive, health-destroying consequences of smoking.

As another example of different ages of majority for different things that perhaps might be less emotive to someone who feels strongly about smoking.. consider that, at the same time as there is a push from some quarters to reduce the voting age to 16, other groups are calling for the minimum age for marriage to be raised to 18, in order to prevent some forms of forced-marriage abuse.
 

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Yes, but it is a choice that you should be able to exercise as a mature individual. If you are considered capable of making a rational choice about one then why not the other ?
Because voting, unless you vote Tory, is not damaging to your health nor are addictive chemicals pumped into your bloodstream during the act of voting.
 

WelshBluebird

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So you would be happy for someone to vote at the age of 16 but not be able to buy a packet of cigarettes ?

Where is the rationale for that ?
If you are considered capable of making a rational choice about one then why not the other ?
What exactly is wrong with that?
There's already other things that we say you can't do until several years after you are eligible to vote (at 21 - adoption, driving a HGV, supervising a learner driver. Hell, in the US you can't even legally drink until you are 21) so what is so egregious to you about someone being able to vote before they can buy cigarettes? The reality is a lot of our age restrictions are somewhat arbitrary anyway and there's not necessarily good rationale for the specific choices we have made compared to other countries.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you are legally defined as a child until 18. This is a reduction from the previous age of majority of 21 which the Family Law Reform Act 1969 brought in. Before 1969 anyone under 21 was legally defined as an 'infant'.

It should be noted that historically however (Mediaeval era) while the the age of majority was 21 for men, the age was 14 for married and 16 for unmarried women in England.
I appreciate that some legal terms sound positively archaic in the 21st century and wonder if there has been any moves made this century to give legal terms more of a modern terminology. Prior to 1969, as you say, to describe someone under the age of 21 as an infant must have been seen as so archaic as to be clarified in less of such an illogical term, though it would not surprise me if there were attempts to defeat the renaming.
 
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eoff

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If sixteen and seventeen year olds are allowed to vote up here, why are they not allowed to Buy Cigarettes, Fireworks or Alcohol ?
I'm suspicious that this came about because the government of the day thought they would gain an advantage by a change in voting age and that was the major consideration at the time.
 

hexagon789

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I appreciate that some legal terms sound positively archaic in the 21st century and wonder if there has been any moves made this century to give legal terms more of a modern terminology. Prior to 1969, as you say, to describe someone under the age of 21 as an infant must have been seen as so archaic as to be clarified in less of such an illogical term, though it would not surprise me if there were attempts to defeat the renaming.
The act continues to use 'infancy' and infant as does the amending act of 1991. So it would seem not.

It is very possible a subsequent law has amended the legal 'definition' of someone under 18 of course. Certainly in modern usage 'child' or 'children' would seem to be the normal way to describe one under 18 rather than infant which I think has connotations of someone much younger - I would say at about just pre-school age or so, perhaps up to about 5 years old?
 

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"No Taxation without Representation" is a quote I remember from school relating to the American War of Independence, and I think still has some relevance. I think that the age of responsibility should be set universely at 18, and in return, no-one under 18 should have to pay Income Tax. Likewise, on all buses and trains, children's fares apply up to 18, and children's rates for other things, like dental charges, should continue to 18. This does mean that alcohol etc. cannot be bought under 18. Also that voting rights are only conferred when you can pay Income Tax (yes, I know that tax applies in other areas such as VAT, but Income Tax is more 'personal'). Further, you will not be able to drive until you are 18, but since you would still enjoy cheap bus and train fares, is that not a good compromise, and car insurance at 17 is hardly cheap.

Having a standard age surely simplifies things, and 18 is a good compromise.
 

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I'm suspicious that this came about because the government of the day thought they would gain an advantage by a change in voting age and that was the major consideration at the time.

I totally concur with that , unfortunately for them, not as many of them chose to engage as the SNP hoped and the Referendum was lost.

"No Taxation without Representation" is a quote I remember from school relating to the American War of Independence, and I think still has some relevance. I think that the age of responsibility should be set universely at 18, and in return, no-one under 18 should have to pay Income Tax. Likewise, on all buses and trains, children's fares apply up to 18, and children's rates for other things, like dental charges, should continue to 18. This does mean that alcohol etc. cannot be bought under 18. Also that voting rights are only conferred when you can pay Income Tax (yes, I know that tax applies in other areas such as VAT, but Income Tax is more 'personal'). Further, you will not be able to drive until you are 18, but since you would still enjoy cheap bus and train fares, is that not a good compromise, and car insurance at 17 is hardly cheap.

Having a standard age surely simplifies things, and 18 is a good compromise.
And Cigarettes ? - the marginal tax rate on them is just about as high as it gets.
 

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I totally concur with that , unfortunately for them, not as many of them chose to engage as the SNP hoped and the Referendum was lost.


And Cigarettes ? - the marginal tax rate on them is just about as high as it gets.

Simples - raise the age for smoking to 18 :)
 

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"No Taxation without Representation" is a quote I remember from school relating to the American War of Independence, and I think still has some relevance. I think that the age of responsibility should be set universely at 18, and in return, no-one under 18 should have to pay Income Tax. Likewise, on all buses and trains, children's fares apply up to 18, and children's rates for other things, like dental charges, should continue to 18. This does mean that alcohol etc. cannot be bought under 18. Also that voting rights are only conferred when you can pay Income Tax (yes, I know that tax applies in other areas such as VAT, but Income Tax is more 'personal'). Further, you will not be able to drive until you are 18, but since you would still enjoy cheap bus and train fares, is that not a good compromise, and car insurance at 17 is hardly cheap.

Having a standard age surely simplifies things, and 18 is a good compromise.
What about making a will or submitting an FOI [aged 12]?
Having a paperround and joining social networks [aged 13]?
Using an e-bike [aged 14]?

Should all those be changed to a standard age of 18?
 

MotCO

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What about making a will or submitting an FOI [aged 12]?
Having a paperround and joining social networks [aged 13]?
Using an e-bike [aged 14]?

Should all those be changed to a standard age of 18?

Not sure why a child cannot submit an FOI or write a will. Likewise, nothing to stop anyone earning whilst under 18 -e.g. paper round - but they would not be taxed. All I am saying is that an adult should be defined as over 18, and thus 'adult' things, such as driving, paying tax, voting etc. can only be exercised by those over 18.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the logic for not taxing anyone under 18, if they happen to earn enough. People aged 16 and over have already been given massive benefits by the state - including lots of education and healthcare, as well as all the indirect things they benefit from: Roads, safe food, people working to protect them against crime and abuse, defence, subsidised (or free) public transport, and so on. Doesn't seem unreasonable to ask that they contribute in return if they are able to do so, even if they're not going to be able to vote for a couple more years. Besides, if you make them exempt from tax, I would imagine that would open up various tax loopholes for wealthy families involving older family members giving teenagers assets or profit-earning investments to get out of paying tax themselves.

That said, I doubt that, in normal circumstances, many 16 or 17 year olds would earn enough to get beyond the tax-free allowance anyway: You're hardly going to earn enough doing a paper round - which kinda reinforces that, for the most part, the only people likely to benefit from making under-18's exempt from tax would be people from wealthy families and families with clever accountants using loopholes to avoid tax.
 
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