Children - At what age can I? PDF Print E-mail

The law considers the age of a child as an important factor in various situations. The Legal guide to age thresholds for children and young people (April 2011) outlines (among other things) the ages at which a child can act independently from his/her parents or guardians and also sets out various legal rules relevant to the particular ages of children.

Topics covered include:

  • At what age can children make decisions and act on their own without assistance from their parents?
  • What are the age thresholds for children to access social grants or housing subsidies?
  • At what age can a child sign a legal contract, be prosecuted for a crime, smoke or be detained in prison?

 

Click here to download: Legal Guide to Age Thresholds for Children

 

This Guide (April 2011 - Edition 5) is a product of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

 

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Latest News

23 October 2017

Court outlaws "reasonable chastisement" defence to corporal punishment of children in the home

"Parents should think twice about lifting their hands to their children; those who hit children will no longer be able to plead special defence in court if criminally charged. 

The Gauteng High Court, Joburg, ruled on Thursday that the defence of reasonable chastisement was not in line with the constitution and no longer applied in law. 

The judgment did not create a new offence, as hitting a child, whether your own or someone else's, has always been assault under the country’s criminal law." - Zelda Venter

Read more of Zelda Venter's article here .

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Zita and Ann from CCL outside court on the day the judgment was handed down. CCL represented three of the parties in the matter. Download the judgment here .

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Prohib of corporal punishment in Africa

Read stats on corporal punishment in Africa here .

 

Centre for Child Law