‘Impossible Attempts’

R. A. Duff

in Criminal Attempts

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198262688
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682384 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

‘Impossible Attempts’

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This chapter examines the impossibility issue in criminal attempts, or the so-called ‘impossible attempts’. It describes three paradigm examples of attempts that the courts have sometimes held to be not constituting a criminal attempt. These include present or apparent impossibilities, missing victims, and legal impossibility. According to the 1981 Act in Great Britain and the Model Penal Code, the only kind of impossibility which precludes attempt liability is legal impossibility, or mistake of law.

Keywords: criminal attempt; impossibilities; legal impossibility; missing victims; legal mistake

Chapter.  21066 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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