In 2010 two boys, aged 10 years, were convicted of the attempted rape of an eight year old girl in England. This article will consider the question of when is it fair to hold young people criminally responsible and to subject them to the full rigours of a criminal trial. It examines the assumption that children mature earlier and argues that the law needs to recognise that children may not yet be developed enough to understand the wrongfulness of what they do. The article adopts a comparative approach by examining the position in Scotland, Ireland and Guernsey. The article also considers the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the reports of the UN Committee as well as examining American criminal jurisprudence.
|European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
|Published - 2012