The Philosophical Foundations of Complicity Law

Christopher Kutz

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195314854
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Philosophical Foundations of Complicity Law


This chapter explores the philosophical interest of the problems raised by accomplice liability, and makes a case for several propositions, some specific to complicity law, and some to theories of responsibility. First, it sets out briefly the basic legal elements of complicity law, concentrating on Anglo-American law, and next examines the key notions of philosophical interest: causation, joint action, and intentionality. The chapter then considers the different valences of responsibility, as between accomplices and direct perpetrators, and, finally, looks to the outer limits of accomplice liability, as reflected primarily in liability for mass atrocities.

Keywords: Anglo-American law; complicity law; causation; joint action; intentionality; accomplices; direct perpetrators

Article.  10801 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Law

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