Differences of Degree and Differences of Kind: Diminished Responsibility

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 takes up the Janus-faced nature of diminished responsibility with the aim of exposing what kind of difference is encoded in the diminished responsibility doctrine, or, to put it another way, analysing what kind of difference diminished responsibility makes to the individual who raises it. The analysis of the development of a doctrine of diminished responsibility from its origins in nineteenth-century Scotland shows that the sort of difference encoded in the diminished responsibility doctrine is most accurately thought of as one of kind, as opposed to one of degree.

Keywords: diminished responsibility; legal doctrine; Scotland; nineteenth century

Chapter.  19247 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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