Law and Philosophy 41 (2):351-374 (2022)

M. Beth Valentine
Washington and Lee University
In “Abetting a Crime,” Husak puzzles over what, exactly, abettors are held liable for. Having dismissed the proposal that derivative liability can ground the imposition of punishment, he then turns to fair labeling concerns to further highlight problems surrounding current Anglo-American complicity laws. The best moral solution, according to Husak, is a drastic but ultimately unworkable revising of our laws. Loosely, he presents a two-horned dilemma: the laws are either insufficiently detailed to respect fair labeling practices or too detailed to be workable. Though I agree with his assessment derivative liability, I advocate for a more optimistic outlook. Specifically, I advocate for having multiple new crimes of “abetting _____,” where the blank is filled in by reference to a particular existing crime for which we think it should be wrongful to help another. This framework offers significant advantages over current complicity laws while escaping the two pitfalls Husak highlights.
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DOI 10.1007/s10982-021-09434-6
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War and Massacre.Thomas Nagel - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (2):123-144.
Intending to Aid.Gideon Yaffe - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (1):1-40.
Abetting a Crime.Douglas Husak - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (1):41-73.

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