Studies reveals: Age of criminal blame too short

According to a study Advances in neuroscience recommend the age of criminal blame - 10 in Wales, Northern Ireland might be too low. According to Professor Nicholas Mackintosh there's now incontrovertible evidence that the brain continues to develop throughout adolescence.

The report notes the distress of some neuroscientists that the current age of criminal responsibility in the UK is set too low. In mainly European countries it is far higher - 18 in Belgium and 16 in Spain. The study says at the age of 10 parts of the brain connected with decision-making and judgment are still developing.

The study identifies areas where potential of what neuroscience can deliver in courts should be handled with concern. Professor Mackintosh said it was for plan makers to decide on changing the age of blame, but the changing science meant it should at least be reviewed.

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