Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



With the alarming rise of juvenile crime and violence during the past decade, policymakers across the international community have struggled to develop effective juvenile criminal justice systems apart from the existing systems tailored to adults. The wide variations in methods and philosophies utilized in different states indicate that there is no consensus on the proper treatment of young offenders. Using the recent Bulger case as a focus, this Note examines two competing paradigms of juvenile justice found within the British juvenile justice system, with particular emphasis on the age of criminal responsibility. After discussing recent developments in Great Britain's juvenile justice system, this Note analyzes minimum international standards of juvenile justice and the impact of the unification of the European Community. This Note concludes that although other states are unlikely to follow Great Britain's lead in punishing the extremely young offender who commits an especially brutal crime, such a system may be necessary to combat the growing problem of crime committed by the very young.