The age of criminal responsibility and the age of consent: should they be any different?
This article considers the connection between the age of criminal responsibility and the age at which a person is able to give effective consent. It argues that there a good reasons why these two ages could be different. In considering this issue the article looks at the concepts of criminal responsibility and consent within the criminal law. It claims that these involve assessment of very different factors. It could, therefore, be entirely appropriate for a court to determine that a child has sufficient legal capacity to be guilty of a criminal offence, but lack capacity to consent to behaviour that would otherwise be a criminal offence.