UK age of criminal responsibility is too low, say brain scientists

The Guardian – The age of criminal responsibility in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could be “unreasonably low” given the emerging understanding of how slowly the brains of children mature, according to a report by the Royal Society. Widespread differences between individuals also mean that the cut-off age at which children are deemed fit to stand trial, at 10 years old, might not be justifiable in all cases. The comments are part of an assessment carried out by a panel of scientists, lawyers and ethicists of how developments in neuroscience and brain imaging should inform the future practice of law. Neuroscience and the Law, published on Tuesday, examines how scientific understanding of the brain has advanced in recent decades and the light this has shed on behaviour. Read article