By Antony Duff
This long-awaited publication, via the distinguished thinker Antony Duff, bargains a brand new viewpoint at the buildings of legal legislations and felony legal responsibility. The book's place to begin is a contrast among accountability (understood as answerability) and legal responsibility, and a belief of accountability as relational and practice-based. This concentrate on accountability, as a question of being answerable to people who have the status to name one to account, throws new mild on a number of questions in felony legislation thought: at the query of criminalization, that can now be forged because the query of what we must always need to solution for, and to whom, less than the specter of felony conviction and punishment; on questions about the legal trial, as a strategy wherein defendants are known as to reply to, and concerning the stipulations (bars to trial) given which an ordeal will be illegitimate; on questions on the constitution of offenses, the excellence among offenses and defenses, and the phenomena of strict legal responsibility and strict accountability; and on questions on the constructions of legal defenses. the web result's now not a concept of felony legislation, however it is an account of the constitution of legal legislation as an establishment by which a liberal polity defines a realm of public wrongdoing, and calls to account those that perpetrate (or are accused of perpetrating) such wrongs. Answering for Crime may be crucial studying for felony legislation theorists.
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Extra resources for Answering for Crime: Responsibility and Liability in the Criminal Law (Legal Theory Today)
Chapter 1 explains in more detail what it is to see responsibility as a relational, practice-based, matter, and why it is crucial to preserve the distinction between responsibility and liability. ’. This question must be tackled both as a general question about responsibility of any kind, and as a particular question about criminal responsibility—and a recurring issue will be that of how much that is substantive we can say about responsibility in general or ‘as such’. Chapter 2 deals briefly with the general question of who can be, which is to say who can be held, responsible: what kinds of capacity or characteristic must a person have if she is to be legitimately held responsible?
Those who worry about the excessive breadth of the offence are then reassured by being told that police and prosecutors will of course exercise their discretion to prosecute only a sub-class of those who commit what the law in the books defines as the offence—the sub-class containing those who commit the ‘real’ offence or who are ‘really’ culpable. This is a common defence of strict liability offences, and might also be offered in defence of sections 57–58 of the Terrorism Act 2000:41 of course the offences are defined in terms that are, on their face, absurdly broad, but we must trust the police to use these provisions only against those who are (‘really’) suspicious; and to define the offences in a less over-inclusive way would make it much too easy for those really involved in terrorism to avoid conviction.
Alternatively, however, I can admit responsibility, but avert liability by offering a defence: I must, I admit, answer for what I have done, but I offer an answer that, I claim, exculpates me. Theorists often do not distinguish responsibility from liability;10 one aim of this book is to show why the distinction matters. We will gain a clearer understanding (both analytical and critical) of the structure of the criminal law, and of the principles of criminal liability, if we distinguish two sets of questions: one concerns the conditions under which agents can be held criminally responsible, ie be called to answer in a criminal court; the other concerns the further conditions that must be satisfied if they are to be criminally liable for that for which they are criminally responsible.
Answering for Crime: Responsibility and Liability in the Criminal Law (Legal Theory Today) by Antony Duff