Legal Responsibility among the Young and the Elderly

Eve M. Brank, Lindsey E. Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The decision of whether to hold someone legally responsible raises both philosophical and psychological questions. Philosophically, legal responsibility derives from either what someone did or who someone is-deed or role responsibility. For both the young and the very old, responsibility for bad actions is intertwined with psychological definitions of competency and capacity. For the young, the law assumes incompetence until a certain chronological age or court determination. For the old, no automatic chronological age is determinative; rather, the law assumes competence until a court determines otherwise. These automatic or court determinations impact legal responsibility in both the civil and criminal law contexts for both the young and the old. Additionally, special circumstances create responsibilities for others in relation to the young and old.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
StatePublished - 2021


  • blame
  • elder
  • juvenile
  • responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Legal Responsibility among the Young and the Elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this