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In Director of Public Prosecutions v P Smith LJ raised the possibility that the defence of doli incapax, putatively abolished by section 34 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, remains available. This article examines the judgment within the context of the increasing criminalisation of young people and their (mis)behaviour and suggests that it may represent an important symbolic moment which could provide the springboard for a much-needed broader reflection on the direction of contemporary youth justice law and policy.
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