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By A. P. Simester

This publication is a set of unique essays supplying the 1st full-length attention of the matter of strict legal responsibility within the legal legislation: that's, the matter of legal offences that let a defendant to be convicted with out facts of fault. due to its strength to convict innocent individuals, strict legal responsibility is a hugely debatable phenomenon within the legal legislation. together with Anglo-American and eu views, the contributions supply a sustained and wide-ranging exam of the elemental concerns. The breadth and intensity of the chapters mix to offer readers with a cosmopolitan research of where and legitimacy of strict legal responsibility within the felony law.

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Extra info for Appraising Strict Liability

Example text

This analysis attacks strict liability only incidentally; it is driven, rather, by the need to protect defined substantive rights. If certain activities are to be protected by means of fundamental rights, then those—particular—activities should not be restricted by offences that permit them only at the risk of uncontrollable criminal liability. Strict liability is diminished here neither directly nor generally, but by the occasional gusts of side-winds. The technique works because strict liability has implications not merely for the possibility of punishment without fault but also for the scope of criminalization.

Unlike many European nations, the common law knows no systematic and clear distinction between ‘true’ crimes and regulatory or administrative violations. 2 Part of the reason is historical. During the nineteenth century,3 the UK Parliament came increasingly to regulate trade, manufacturing, and other commercial activities directly by legislation; enacting statutes to regulate and license processes and actions that were otherwise valuable, and not to be prohibited outright, but which were potentially dangerous or harmful.

Errors in Assessing the Nature and Extent of the Moral Deficiency Problem A final problem with the indiscriminate use of the term ‘strict liability’ is that it is likely to result in errors in assessing the extent and nature of the moral deficiency problem. Determining whether and to what extent the criminal law is morally deficient is a complex task. Let us assume that criminal sanctions are appropriately applied to conduct if and only if such conduct involves a sufficient level of culpability, harmfulness, and wrongfulness; and let us define ‘moral deficiency’ as anything that departs from that model.

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