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This article explores what is meant when children are held responsible for their behaviour in the criminal justice system. It does so by examining the age at which children are held responsible in criminal law and contrasts this approach with that taken in family law. It is argued that the concept of responsibility itself is being manipulated and that the different approaches taken by criminal law and family law have not been justified. It recommends that serious consideration be given to the development of a Gillick-type test of competency in criminal law to protect young children from the consequences of their immature actions.
This ready reference guide for all family court practitioners and judges provides a portable...