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Judging maturity: Exploring the role of maturity in the sentencing of young adults

  • Date: 18 Jul 2017

  • Location: Lecture Theatre A, Keyworth Centre, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA


  • Book your place : Free (donations welcome)

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    Judging maturity: Exploring the role of maturity in the sentencing of young adults

    Tuesday 18 July 2017, 6.30–8pm


    • Francis FitzGibbon QC, Doughty Street Chambers (Chair)
    • Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust
    • Dr Nathan Hughes, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham
    • Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform

    The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance are launching Judging Maturity, a new research report exploring how judges view the concept of maturity in the sentencing of young adults.

    Tens of thousands of young adults, aged 18 to 25, appear before the courts for sentencing each year. Although sentencing principles for children have been scrutinised, there has been very little research on the sentencing process for young adults and on how judges view and take into account maturity.

    Judging maturity analyses 174 senior court judgments concerning young adults. The Howard League’s research shows that, at present, maturity as a factor affecting the culpability of the individual is rarely considered in the sentencing of young adults and, when it is, the depth of understanding can be variable and the impact on decision-making inconsistent. But the research also shows that there is every reason to be optimistic. Drawing on the sentencing principles for children, the research suggests that provided with the right information and equipped with a set of sentencing principles for young adults, courts can make better sentencing decisions.

    An expert panel, chaired by Francis FitzGibbon QC, will present the research, alongside an overview of recent developments in knowledge and research on the maturation process of young adults. Attendees will then be invited to participate in a discussion on the sentencing of young adults. This event is part of our Lawyers’ Network series. Contributions from practitioners towards this area of work are warmly welcomed.

    The event is free to attend, but please consider making a donation so that we can carry on being an independent voice and being successful at achieving change. Please note that places are limited.

    Refreshments will be provided.


    The nearest Underground station, Elephant & Castle, is just metres from the campus and is connected to both the Bakerloo and Northern lines.

    The closest train stations are London Waterloo, London Bridge and Elephant & Castle.

    Map and directions to the Keyworth Centre, London South Bank University can be found at:

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