Attempt: Contracting Consequentialism—Expanding the Notion of Criminal Harm?

K. J. M. Smith

in Lawyers, Legislators and Theorists

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780198257233
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681738 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

Attempt: Contracting Consequentialism—Expanding the Notion of Criminal Harm?

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The first third of the nineteenth century saw little conceptual development beyond the firm acceptance of attempt as a general form of liability, available as a supplemental line of action against miscreants whose behaviour was not caught in the extensive net of highly act-specific statutory attempt crimes. At this stage little speculative interest emerged in the doctrinal significance, rationale, and potential practical difficulties of application of this, effectively, new general form of liability. The remainder of the nineteenth century witnessed a very gradual, fragmentary, and faltering recognition of some of these issues, most central of which was that of proximity: just how far an actor needed to progress towards his criminal objective before crossing liability's threshold.

Keywords: criminal law; proximity; liability

Chapter.  6743 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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