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By Antony Duff

This long-awaited e-book, by means of the distinguished thinker Antony Duff, deals a brand new point of view 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 specialise in accountability, as an issue of being answerable to people who have the status to name one to account, throws new gentle on quite a number questions in legal legislation concept: at the query of criminalization, that may 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 felony trial, as a approach in which defendants are known as to reply to, and in regards to the stipulations (bars to trial) given which a tribulation will be illegitimate; on questions about the constitution of offenses, the excellence among offenses and defenses, and the phenomena of strict legal responsibility and strict accountability; and on questions about the constructions of felony defenses. the web result's now not a idea of felony legislation, however it is an account of the constitution of felony legislations as an establishment in 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 might be crucial analyzing for legal legislations theorists.

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Extra info for Answering for Crime: Responsibility and Liability in the Criminal Law (Legal Theory Today)

Sample text

The relationship between liability and responsibility can be simply stated: responsibility is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of liability. I am liable to conviction or blame for X only if I am responsible for X; but I can be responsible for X without being thus liable. The phenomena of ‘absolute’ and ‘vicarious’ liability in criminal law might seem to cast doubt on the necessity of responsibility for liability. I can be convicted of being found drunk on a highway without proof that I could have avoided being there, even if I was carried there by the police;2 an employer can be vicariously criminally liable for an employee’s criminal conduct, even if that conduct was not authorised, expected or reasonably foreseeable by the employer:3 in such cases the defendant seems to be criminally liable for the offence without proof that she was responsible for its commission.

However, first, if they are not morally responsible for the action or state of affairs in question, they cannot be morally liable to blame or criticism for it—since moral liability requires moral responsibility. Secondly, they are criminally liable in such cases only because the law, rightly or wrongly, makes them criminally responsible. The law holds the person found drunk on a highway criminally responsible for being thus found—which implies a prospective criminal responsibility to make sure that one is not thus found;4 it held a licensee whose employee sold drinks outside permitted hours criminally responsible for the employee’s actions, even if the employee acted against her express instructions,5 which implied a prospective responsibility to make sure that no drinks were sold in one’s pub outside permitted hours.

There are of course other species of liability: as well as being criminally liable to conviction and punishment for the crimes that we commit, we may be liable to pay taxes on our income, to pay damages for harms that we cause, to pay maintenance for our children, and so on. Such other types of liability do not concern me here: my focus is on criminal liability to conviction and punishment, or moral liability to criticism and blame, and on the species of responsibility 1 Dubber, 2005a: 5; see above, Introduction at n 50.

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