This chapter draws together all of the themes of the book reflecting on the concept of childhood and the consequences of viewing it only as a preparation for adulthood rather than a status in its own right. It reiterates arguments from throughout the book that fairness to the child-accused and the public interest must always be balanced and that the best way to achieve this is for courts to undertake a proper and thorough examination of the actual understanding of the crime in its context and its consequences held by the individual child. It looks at ways in which this might be achieved drawing on extant procedures in relation to mentally disordered defendants.
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