The history of German legislation resulting in the developmental orientation of juvenile court law (JCL) led to setting the minimum age of criminal responsibility at the age of 14, which places Germany within the average range compared to other EU countries, even though most skills regarding the discernment of right- or wrong-doing are developed in earlier stages of life. The requirement put by section sign 3 JCL that legal discernment be emotionally grounded and the necessity to explore context factors (family or group, specific situation) make psychiatric evaluation of adolescents in court a delicate task. It is indispensable that new findings in neurobiology be considered upon making an assessment of the individual neuro-developmental status. In contrast, an assessment according to section sign 105 JCL considers the overall development irrespective of the crime(s). Developmental issues regarding legal prognosis are discussed for some types of offences (homicide, sexual offences, arson).