Chapter

Criminal Law and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

Jonathan Herring

in Vulnerable Adults and the Law

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9780198737278
Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191800757 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737278.003.0007
Criminal Law and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

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This chapter describes the concept of vulnerability as it is understood in criminal law by examining two main themes: protection and paternalism. On the one hand, criminalizing offences which are seen to harm vulnerable people can be seen as a benefit to them in that it recognizes harms that previously went under-acknowledged. Victims can receive the help they need; the public are informed about the dangers of these crimes for vulnerable people; people know to look out for friends and relatives who may be victims; and there is a public acknowledgement and response to the wrong behaviour. On the other hand, a law which might be designed to protect a vulnerable group may at the same time restrict the freedom of members of that group. The chapter examines these themes through two issues which illustrate these difficulties well: prostitution and prosecution of domestic abuse.

Keywords: vulnerable; exploitation; criminal; homicide; manslaughter; rape; consent; theft; fraud

Chapter.  18426 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Medical and Healthcare Law

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