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A category of defences in criminal law reflecting a determination that the defendant is not criminally blameworthy for having engaged in what was, none the less, criminally wrongful conduct. Insanity and involuntary intoxication are often commonly assumed to be central examples of excuse. It is often said that excuse defences focus on the actor, whereas justification defences focus on the act: actors are excused, actions are justified. See also duress.

Subjects: Law.

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