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Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime
Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime

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Session 1: Children or criminals?


This first session is all about the age of criminal responsibility – the age at which someone can be arrested and charged with a criminal offence. This is important because it says so much about the way society thinks of children. In this session you will consider how the law defines the boundary between being an adult and a child and sets limits on what someone is allowed to do. You will use the internet to listen to people talking about the issues. You will also get to see what children think about the way the criminal law attaches labels to them.

Watch the following video, in which course author Rod Earle from The Open University introduces this session.

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Session 1 introduction
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By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • appreciate how the age of criminal responsibility is a key indicator of social responses to children’s behaviour
  • understand that there are wide international variations in the age of criminal responsibility.

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