Beyond the Justification/Excuse Dichotomy

Douglas Husak

in Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592814
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729034 | DOI:
Beyond the Justification/Excuse Dichotomy

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the strain in criminal law theory created by the assumption that all substantive defences — those that entitle a defendant to an acquittal as a matter of justice — can be categorised as either a justification or an excuse. A number of pleas that clearly show a defendant does not deserve to be punished resist simple classification within the traditional defence hierarchy. Antony Duff suggests in Answering for Crime that problems involving putative justification require a new defence — the warranted — to supplement those of justification and excuse. The chapter develops his original idea by examining additional kinds of cases in which further distinctions are helpful.

Keywords: justification; excuse; defense; putative justification; desert; punishment; liability

Chapter.  8030 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.