Journal Article

Excusing Information-Provision Crimes in the Bureaucratic State

Jeremy Horder

in Current Legal Problems

Volume 68, issue 1, pages 197-227
Published in print January 2015 | ISSN: 0070-1998
Published online August 2015 | e-ISSN: 2044-8422 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuv008
Excusing Information-Provision Crimes in the Bureaucratic State

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A way of conceiving the state in which we live is as the ‘bureaucratic–participatory’ state. The good citizen in this state is the citizen who is honest and truthful, when required to provide information needed by officials charged with furthering the public interest in regulatory contexts. Offences applicable to those who fail to provide the right information to officials form a large proportion of crimes on the statute book. The most disadvantaged members of society are the least well-equipped to meet the information demands of the bureaucratic state, and are the most vulnerable to unjust conviction under such laws. Comparing and contrasting the approach to defences of different forms or ideologies of law, I argue the case for a broad excusing provision to information-provision offences, when those offences target groups especially likely to include disadvantaged members of society. To that end, I focus on information-provision crimes relating to benefit claims.

Journal Article.  13258 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law ; Law and Society ; Politics and Law

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