Exploring Children's Understanding of the Legal Rights of Suspects in England and Wales
journal contributionposted on 02.09.2021, 09:49 by Vicky Kemp, Dawn Watkins
While studies have explored adult suspects’ understanding of their legal rights, seldom are the experiences of children and young people taken into account. In this article, we discuss findings arising out of research interviews conducted with 61 children and young people; many of whom have experience of being suspects. From listening to their points-of-view, we find that children and young people fundamentally lack understanding of the rights of suspects, and especially the inalienable nature of those rights. We argue this is not surprising when children are being dealt with in an adult-centred punitive system of justice, which is contrary to international human rights standards.