The Terrain of Mental Incapacity in Criminal Law

Arlie Loughnan

in Manifest Madness

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698592
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738883 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

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This chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to examine the terrain of mental incapacity in criminal law. It suggests that the terrain of mental incapacity in criminal law is traversed by a set of mental incapacity doctrines, and marked out by particular legal practices concerning evidence and proof, which themselves rest on different types of knowledge of mental incapacity. This terrain has a distinctive character, which is analysed under the label ‘manifest madness’. The chapter then discusses the reasons for examining mental incapacity and a socio-historical approach to mental incapacity. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: criminal law; mental incapacity; manifest madness; incapacity doctrines

Chapter.  6831 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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