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It is clear from the abstract of the article that its main
focus was on studying the ethics of audultfication with in the youth justice
system. As the author stated that arguably, securing immunity from prosecution
should be the main reason to raise the minimum age of responsibility, that is
to say it is also argued that it should remain the same, I believe Goldson
included this in his literature review to display how contradictive the law
against raising the minimum age is.

As briefly mentioned above the author submitted two arguments,
that at the age of 10, children should be able to differentiate their right
from wrong, however to drink and drive you have to be over the legal age of 18
which I believe to be unjust. I the author did display moral ethics as the
article somewhat reflects on societies view of what is right or wrong; in
regards to morals and ethical guidelines, it is the actuality of context. These
different areas usually set across their own version of good and bad behaviour .This
social surrounding can help individuals control a good decision from a bad one
although at the same time it complicates the idea that children should be held
accountable for their actions. Because of the fact that it is widely mentioned whether
children at the age of ten have the mental capacity to understand what they
have done. For instance the James Bulger murder committed by two boys, aged 10,
this caused a crucial moment in the social structure of child ‘offenders’. The
judge referred to the boys behaviour as wicked and cunning , this supports the
argument that children do have the capacity to know right from wrong, as when
interviewed the two boys could perfectly describe what they had done and by one
of them ‘breaking down’ showed guilt which is normally connected to something
negative.  In addition to this the author
recognises that childhood has a dark side to it and the common thought of
children being seen as innocent should not be presumed to be distinctively

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When critiquing literature, the researcher often involves in
the evaluation of the literature. in this case, Goldsons article is a
literature review in its own entity making it an empirical research as the
majority of his work was based on observation, it was published in 2013, which
makes the information used in this article reliable as it is recent it could
relatively be important to other individuals within the social sciences
department. Although there was no definitive methodology used, Goldson was
still able to display some statistics in his findings ; for example page
118-119 shows the different ages of responsibility within Europe , the findings
from this piece of information shows that the Uk’ minimum age of responsibility
is the lowest compared to other countries. 
Additionally Goldson mentioned that the age the law allows someone to
consent to their own medical treatment is 16, however the Pet Animals Act 1951
states that it is not up till 12 that a child may be seen as responsible, so
why the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 10? This is a question the
author must have thought of as he stated that’ a defendant who is old enough to
buy a pet can be tried in an adult court, on the same level of psychological
sophistication compulsory to look after a domestic animal, is legible of a long
period of development paralleled to the capacity to understand moral responsibility
(Brooks, 2011) There a various seminal authors mentioned in the article, one of
which is the Home office.  The article to
some extent is comprehensive but it also contradicts its self and doesn’t have
a conclusive argument that is to say it is quite back and forth making it slightly
difficult for the reader to follow.

A critical evaluation does not always highlight negative impressions,
sometimes it shines light on positive impressions. For this particular article
the positives are that it states all sources used, this presents a valid
picture of reliability, as it shows the extent of research Goldson carried out.
As raising the minimum age of responsibility is widely debated within the
article it gives the readers a different insight as two arguments are
presented, making them question whether the minimum age should be raised or
not, and whether it is right to give young offenders the same or similar treatment
as an adult offender.

Upon analysing this article, it became noticeable that the
author had a particular view on adultifying, he displayed this in his
conclusion as he stated he that it was wrong to put children in the same
prosecution level as adults and that it is a transfiguration of justice. Regardless
of whether the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be lowered or
raised Goldson wrote and stated that the argument for raising the minimum age
of responsibility has already been won, this could pass as one of his findings,
as it is a conclusion he came to in his conclusion. Another finding could possibly
be the ages of minimum responsibility in Europe that he embarked on. It was
also noticeable that the author puts the secondary information he has found into
his own words, this shows his understanding of what he is researching and in
turn simplifies it for the reader, it also helps the reader to draw to their
own conclusion as they will be able to look at different versions of what is
being discuss and come up with their own ideas on the age of responsibility.

The Research process model was not utilised consistently throughout
the article, however the author did follow through with the first step to some extent,
which is to begin with an idea, although Goldson didn’t have an idea he did however
write on his own opinions that he formed through observation, I believe Goldson
did this to test the moral capacity of individuals, would they agree with his
opinion or wont they. These are all questions I presume the author wanted his
readers to think about. The second step, which is to state the research
question/statement was followed as the author stated what the article was discussing
in the abstract. Step 3 is the specific aim and objective,
this step was included in the article as I previously stated. Step 4,
the literature review was most definitely followed as the whole article in a
sense is a literature review. Step 5 as
mentioned before there was no methodology selected for this research as it is merely
based upon observation, so no data could be gathered and analysed (which is
step 6 and 7 of the research process model. Nevertheless Goldson was still able
to obtain some sort of data from his findings which were clear statistics of
the age of criminal responsibility within Europe. By stating the age of
criminal responsibility in different countries, suggests that the author was
trying to relay to the readers how ‘ridiculous’ the minimum age of criminal responsibility
is in the UK as almost all neighbouring countries with in Europe have a higher
age for the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Analysing data the 8th
step to the research process model is not written, however Goldson does display
some sort of analysis with the statics he did find, he stated that it is hard
to comprehend or support. The 9th and 10th steps of the
research process model is also not included within Goldsons article, there is
no substantial data to draw a conclusion from.

The article mentions legislations which contributes to the knowledge
of individuals as it broadens their understanding of laws within the youth
justice system. The evidence to give the impression that this would be the
amount of legislations he incorporated in his research; for example The
children And Young Persons act 1963. Goldson informs the readers that this act,
states that once a child reaches 10 they are unprotected from the full weight
of the practical criminal law; the same way adults are.


Goldson was still able to draw a conclusion, even though all
the steps in the research process model were not followed, in other words to
such a debatable issue the author sums up his research well by producing the
different arguments relating to the minimum age of responsibility. In spite of
the fact that this is an empirical article, there is no theoretical frame work;
as no theories were mentioned in great detail.


There are no real recommendations in this article, however
if Goldson was to carry out his research again , I would suggest he carries out
a method of which he can obtain data ,as obtaining data is purposefully  intended to display facts and makes the research
project more reliable . I would also recommend that he alters the structure of
this article so that it is easy to differentiate his to arguments for and against
the minimum age of responsibility.


Barry Goldsons bibliography states the different sources
such as journals, websites and text books that were used and briefly stated in
the article, this shows the reader that the author took time to research information
and inform the reader of the relevant sources sited.


The appendix is merely a source
for data, so it does not need much reason or description. If the information
you’re presenting in the appendix
needs much clarification, the main body of the report is preferably a better place for it.

Information that is
not crucial to explain ones findings, but that supports your study (specially dull
or extensive information), authorises conclusions or follows a connected point that
should be placed in an appendix, Occasionally excerpts from this supporting info
(for example part of the data set) will be located in the body of the report
but the complete set of information (for example. all of the data set) will be involved
in the appendix. Examples of data that could be incorporated in an appendix
include charts/graphs figures/tables/ of results, statistics, questionnaires,
transcripts of interviews, pictures, lengthy derivations of equations, maps,
drawings, letters, specification or data sheets, computer program information.  An appendix was most definitely not utilised in
Goldsons research, it is clearly shown in the article as there is no mention of
stats and figures; some of the elements that are needed to write an appendix…
If Goldson had an appendix it would be beneficial as give us more info on a
certain topic, however it could also count as a limitation or critique because
it may not be relevant to his study

‘There is no
limitation to what can be included in the appendix as long as it is important
and reference is made to it in the article. The appendix is not a sector for slightly
-interesting or relatable information gathered from individuals through his/her
research for their report: the information encompassed in the appendix must tolerate
directly relate to the research issue or the articles aim. It must be a suitable
resource for the reader’ – (Weaver & Weaver, 1977).

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