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Hence, it might be considered unfair to treat young children in the same way as adults.
In Scotland the age of criminal responsibility is currently eight years, however age of criminal prosecution was raised to 12 in 2010.
Some societies will have qualities of indulgence toward the young and inexperienced, and will not wish them to be exposed to the criminal law system before all other avenues of response have been exhausted.
Hence, some states have a policy of doli incapax (i.e.
Under the English common law the defense of infancy was expressed as a set of presumptions in a doctrine known as doli incapax.
A child under the age of seven was presumed incapable of committing a crime.
Thus, if the rationale of the excuse is that children below a certain age lack the capacity to form the mens rea of an offense, this may no longer be a sustainable argument.
Indeed, given the different speeds at which people may develop both physically and intellectually, any form of explicit age limit may be arbitrary and irrational.
incapable of wrong) and exclude liability for all acts and omissions that would otherwise have been criminal up to a specified age.
Hence, no matter what the infant may have done, there cannot be a criminal prosecution.
The presumption was conclusive, prohibiting the prosecution from offering evidence that the child had the capacity to appreciate the nature and wrongfulness of what he had done.