Reckless children

Keating, Heather (2007) Reckless children. Criminal Law Review, 2007 (7). pp. 546-558. ISSN 0011-135X

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Abstract

The landmark decision of the House of Lords in G has already been the subject of much academic scrutiny. Much of the commentary has focused upon the effect this decision has had upon the meaning of the concept of "recklessness" for the purposes of mens rea. Rather less attention has been given to another facet of the case: that at the time of the offences the two defendants were 11 and 12 years old. It is true that the age of the defendants is recognised as crucial in one sense: it provided the catalyst for the demolition of Caldwell recklessness which, at the boys' trial, rendered them guilty irrespective of a lack of foresight of harm on their part. However, this article seeks to explore the issue of the age of the children more generally. It tries to answer the question that is prompted by the jury's obvious reluctance to convict the boys: is it the boys' (understandable) lack of foresight that lies at the heart of the sense of injustice that the jury (and judge) felt or is it the age of the children itself that is the problem? While it is accepted that these questions are inter-related, this article uses the device of a very small-scale survey to attempt to unpick the two strands.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Heather Keating
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:31
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 14:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26403
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