An ACT Labor-Greens government will prioritise raising the age of criminal responsibility in the next parliamentary term.
Advocates have labelled the move a historic step in their fight for a nationwide change to the law which currently allows children as young as 10 to be locked-up, and hope others will follow suit.
The ACT government became the first jurisdiction in the country to support raising the age to 14 in August, after local advocates warned of the harm young children kept in detention could face in the long-term.
Raising the age has now been included as a priority area of reform in the ACT Labor-Greens parliamentary and governing agreement, released on Monday.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it would likely take more than one year before it would come into effect.
"This is something we foreshadowed in the last parliamentary term," he said.
"We'll need to consider the various issues, legislation would take some time to draft ... it would probably have a committee referral.
"I think it's at least a year if not a little bit longer depending on the policy work to reach consensus."
Advocates say it is a promising step to change "damaging" and "unacceptable" laws which allow children as young as 10 to be arrested, face court and kept in youth detention.
Many will wait for the final legislation to ensure it prevents all children under 14 from being locked up.
Aboriginal children are disproportionately affected, with those between 10 and 13 being imprisoned at eight times the rates of non-Indigenous children in the ACT.
Raising the age to 14 would bring it in line with United Nations standards, ACT Law Society president Elizabeth Carroll said.
"While this change will only affect a small number of children in the ACT, it has the potential to profoundly change those children's lives for the better," Ms Carroll said.
Aboriginal Legal Service ACT/NSW chief executive Karly Warner welcomed the announcement and called on other jurisdictions to follow the ACT's lead.
"We owe it to our kids to give them the best start in life - that means doing everything we can to support our kids in their communities, connected to culture and to country," she said.
"Every day in our work at the Aboriginal Legal Service we see our kids get dragged into the criminal justice system, instead of being supported at school, in community and with their families."
Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation executive director Kim Davison would wait for the final detail of the legislative changes to ensure it prevented incarceration for all children under 14.
"We will wait to see the final text of the legislation to change these damaging laws, but this is a promising step in the right direction," she said.
"The medical evidence says the age of criminal responsibility must be raised to at least 14-years-old - so we will be looking at any legislation carefully to make sure it keeps all kids under 14 out of the dangerous quicksand of the criminal justice system."
Mr Barr indicated he wanted bipartisan support for the legislation but would push ahead if the Canberra Liberals opposed changes.
"My preference would be for a unanimous view but if we can't get the Canberra Liberals over the line with us then of course our two parties will move on the issue," he said.