Conclusive presumption

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A conclusive presumption (also known as an irrebuttable presumption) is a type of presumption used in several legal systems.

England and Wales[edit]

In English law, a conclusive presumption is a presumption of law that cannot be rebutted by evidence and must be taken to be the case whatever the evidence to the contrary.

For example (prior to 1998), the doli incapax rule conclusively presumed that a child between 10 and 13 years old could not be held legally responsible for his or her actions, and so could not be convicted of committing a criminal offence. The age of criminal responsibility has continually been under debate with adjustments being made in line with rulings, the results of psychological research and to some extent public pressure. The age was seven at common law, and raised by the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to eight (section 50) and by the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 to ten. The doli incapax rule was abolished by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The current age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10.

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