Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592814.003.0009
Beyond the Justification/Excuse Dichotomy

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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

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