When should someone who may have intentionally or knowingly committed criminal wrongdoing be excused? Excusing Crime examines what excusing conditions are, and why familiar excuses, such as duress, are thought to fulfil those conditions. Setting himself against the 'classical' view of excuses, which has a long heritage, and is enshrined in different forms in many of the world's criminal codes, both liberal and non-liberal; Jeremy Horder argues that it is now time to move forwards. He contends that a wider range (...) of excuses - 'diminished capacity', 'due diligence' and 'demands of conscience' - should be recognised in law. (shrink)
The first detailed study of the effect of provocation on culpability in morality and law, this book traces the fascinating history of the legal doctrine of provocation, right up to present-day controversies over the scope of the doctrine's application in murder cases.
In this article, I try to do two things. First I analyse critically the suggestion that the principles of criminal culpability can be explained by reference to a single, all-encompassing concept, such as “defiance of the law”. I then go on to explain the foundations of criminal culpability by reference to three interlocking theories — the capacity theory, the character theory, and the agency theory. I conclude that even these three theories may not be sufficient to explain the complex structure (...) of culpability, which is shaped as much by shared cultural understanding as by moral theory. (shrink)
In this analysis of Marcia Baron’s account of excuses, I seek to do two things. I try to draw out the nature of the distinction between forgiving and excusing. I also defend the distinction between excuses (like duress), and denials of responsibility (like insanity).
The fourth collection of essays in this long-established series brings together some of the leading contributors to the study of the philosophical foundations of common law. Key issues in contract, tort, and criminal law are subjected to philosophical scrutiny, the aim being to provide an exciting new basis for advanced teaching and further research.
At the heart of the provocation defence lies the assumption that the excusatory focus should be the all-too-human and supposedly characteristic tendency to act in a spontaneously retaliatory fashion, when provocation has led to great anger. What if this is not the characteristic reaction of someone who acts for mixed motives, when not only angry at but also fearful of the provoker? Making such cases central to a plea of provocation would reshape the defence so as both to restrict and (...) to expand its availability in important ways, thus meeting some common criticisms of its current operation. The requirement that a defendant should have feared, as well as been angry at, a provoker, operates as what can be called a ‘subjective’ limiting condition, a new kind of limiting condition to set alongside more familiar ‘objective’ limiting conditions, such as the reasonable person test. (shrink)
Philip Pettit has made central to modern republican theory a distinctive account of freedom—republican freedom. On this account, I am not free solely because I can make choices without interference. I am truly free, only if that non-interference does not itself depend on another’s forbearance. Pettit believes that the principal justification for the traditional focus of the criminal law is that it constitutes a bulwark against domination. I will, in part, be considering the merits of this claim. Is the importance (...) of the orthodox realm of the criminal law solely or mainly explained by the wish to protect people from domination? In short, the answer is that it is not. Across the board, the criminal law rightly protects us equally from threats to what Pettit calls ‘effective,’ as opposed to formal, republican freedom. I will develop my critique of Pettit’s account of criminal law, in part to raise questions about the role of ‘domination’ in political theory, and about whether it poses a significant challenge to liberal accounts of criminal law. (shrink)
The fourth collection of essays in this long-established series brings together some of the leading contributors to Oxford's course on the Philosophical Foundations of Common Law for the Bachelor of Civil Law. Key issues in contract, tort, and criminal law are subjected to philosophical scrutiny, as well as concerns, such as the significance of personhood in law and legal theory. The aim of the book, like the aim of the course, is to make a major contribution to thinking about the (...) common law, which can provide an exciting new basis for advanced teaching and further research. (shrink)