Criminal Omissions: Culpability, Responsibility and Liberty


in Criminal Responsibility

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199225828
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191718571 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

Criminal Omissions: Culpability, Responsibility and Liberty

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It is commonly thought that there is a general principle against making a person criminally liable for failing to prevent harm. This chapter argues that there is no such principle. In defending that conclusion, it examines and rejects three familiar explanations for that principle. The first is that those who fail to prevent harm are less culpable than those who cause harm. The second is that we are responsible only for causing harm and not for failing to prevent harm. The third is that criminalizing omissions restricts are liberty more than criminalizing our actions.

Keywords: omissions; culpability; liability; liberty; responsibility

Chapter.  16603 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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