Young People and the Justice System: Consideration of Maturity in Criminal Responsibility

Claire Bryan-Hancock, Sharon Casey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The age of majority determines when a young person is considered adult in the eyes of the law, and in many countries this is set at 18 years. This does not take into account the differing ways and time-frames in which young people mature and develop. In justice systems in which individuals can be awarded leniency due to mental impairment, it becomes apparent that a similar justification can be made for issues surrounding maturity. This is of particular importance due to a growing trend in the Western world for young people to be tried as adults based on their crime, rather than their individual culpability. The aim of this review was to consider the interaction between maturity and criminal culpability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-78
    Number of pages10
    JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Adolescence
    • Criminal responsibility
    • Juvenile justice
    • Law
    • Maturity
    • Psychology

    Cite this