Michael S. Moore

in Act and Crime

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599509
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594656 | DOI:

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There are six problems that threaten to make the criminal law unwieldy and complex: (1) that acts as such have no common nature; (2) that the types of acts criminal law prohibits are as diverse as the thousands of verbs of action that describe them; (3) that where and when a criminal act occurs varies with each kind of act; (4) that the mental state requirements are as diverse as are the types of actions such mental states are about; (5) that there is no general solution to the overlapping statutes problem (where more than one statute is violated by a single act); and (6) that there is no general solution to the unit of offense problem (where more than one act violates a single statute). The doctrines of voluntary act, actus reus, and double jeopardy all exist to provide general solutions to these worries. Various scepticisms about the coherence of these three doctrines are discussed.

Keywords: voluntary act; actus reus; double jeopardy; scepticism; legislative drafting

Chapter.  5339 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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