Criminal law pdf

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No person shall be tried on any criminal charge save in due course of law. 2. An important feature of criminal law is that it attracts a punishment or sanction. CRIMINAL LAW ACT. CHAPTER LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. Acts. 20 of 45 of Amended by. 36 of 16 of Multiple formats (PDF, Kindle, e-pub,.mobi) . I would say that this book attempts to cover a broad spectrum of criminal law topics, so in that sense it's.

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Printing History. October Criminal Law text_criminal-law/ . Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. The Significance of Criminal Law. Criminal law is that branch of law, which deals with public wrongs of offences. It is divided into two parts, the substantive law. Criminal Law Act ELIZABETH II. CHAPTER CH. 1. An Act to amend the law of England and Wales by abolishing the division of crimes into.

The charts and images were not distorted or distracting. Different private punishers are unlikely to punish similarly placed offenders in similar amounts. Ferzan and S. But it is plausible to think that this benefit is outweighed by the aforementioned costs. Introduction to Criminal Law Chapter 2: The focus of the text was an introduction to the topic of criminal law and is neutral in its presentation of cases and facts. The book stays within the middle of the political spectrum, with a slight tendency towards libertarian views.

Second, part of the positive case for imposing criminal punishment is dependent on the punishment being part of a process of calling to account. The following two paragraphs expand on both these claims. As to the first, we often have reason to account for our actions to others. We can leave open for now the precise conditions under which this is so. But it is plausible to think that if Alisha steals from Bintu she has reason for account for the theft, and that if Chika intentionally kills Dawn she has reason to account for the killing.

Defenders of the curial view argue that criminal proceedings are of intrinsic value when defendants are called to offer accounts of themselves that they have reason to offer in criminal courts Gardner , —; Duff c, 15— Imagine Alisha stole from Bintu because she was under duress.

Imagine Chika intentionally killed Dawn to defend herself or others. Neither of these defendants, we can assume, is justifiably punished. On the curial view, things are different. Alisha and Chika both have reason to account for their behaviour—to explain what they did and why they did it.

Criminal proceedings invite each to provide that account and put each under pressure to do so. Assuming Alisha and Chika have reason to account in a criminal court, proceedings in which they are called to do so are of intrinsic value.

To endorse the curial view is not, of course, to say that we should do away with criminal punishment.

But it is to say that the connection between trial and punishment is not merely instrumental. Some think that the facts that make punishment fitting—say, culpable wrongdoing—obtain independently of criminal proceedings themselves Moore , The fitting way to respond to criminal wrongdoing, on this view, is to call the wrongdoer to account for her wrong. We can see the implications of this view by imagining a world in which trials are abolished, because some new-fangled machine allows us to identify culpable wrongdoers with perfect accuracy.

On the curial view, the punishments we impose are inherently defective: Though our new-fangled machine might justify doing away with trials—once we factor in how expensive they can be—we would lose something of value in doing away with them. If criminal law does have a particular function, we can ask whether that function is distinctive of criminal law.

We can ask, in other words, whether it helps distinguish criminal law from the rest of the legal system. It has been claimed that criminal law is distinctive in imposing punishment Moore , 18—30; Husak , One might also claim that criminal law alone calls defendants to account. But punishments are imposed in civil proceedings—exemplary damages are the obvious case. And it is arguable that civil proceedings also call defendants to account—that they too invite defendants to offer a denial or plead a defence; that they too use the prospect of legal liability to put defendants under pressure to account adequately Duff a.

In response, one might try to refine the function that is distinctive of criminal law. What we should make of this proposal depends on what a public wrong is Lamond ; Lee ; Edwards and Simester To make progress, we can distinguish between primary duties—like duties not to rape or rob—and secondary duties—like duties to answer, or suffer punishment, for rape or robbery.

We incur duties of the latter kind by breaching duties of the former. Many wrongs are both crimes and torts. So the two bodies of law often respond to breaches of the same primary duty.

A more promising proposal looks to secondary duties. Perhaps the function of civil law is to respond to wrongs on behalf of some of us —to discharge secondary duties owed to particular individuals. This might be thought to explain why criminal proceedings, unlike civil proceedings, are controlled by state officials: The view described in the previous paragraph conceives of criminal law as an instrument of the community—a way of ensuring that the community gets what it is owed from wrongdoers.

Call it the communitarian view. If we combine this with the curial view, the distinctive function of criminal law is to seek answers owed to the community as a whole. One might doubt that the functions of criminal and civil law can be so neatly distinguished. More importantly, one might claim that in the case of paradigmatic crimes—like robbery, rape, or battery—criminal law responds to wrongs on behalf of particular individuals—on behalf of those who have been robbed, raped, or battered.

Those who reject the communitarian view might be thought to face the following difficulty: Not necessarily. First, we should not always require the wronged to have to pursue those who have wronged them.

Law pdf criminal

Second, we should not always support those who think themselves wronged in pursuing alleged wrongdoers. As to the first point, some are trapped in abusive relationships with those who wrong them. Others are susceptible to manipulation that serves to silence their complaints. Some wrongdoers can use wealth and social status to stop accusers in their tracks. As to the second point, the temptation to retaliate in the face of wrongdoing is often great.

It is all too easy for the pursuit of justice to become the pursuit of revenge, and for the perceived urgency of the pursuit to generate false accusations. Official control can help vulnerable individuals—like those described above—to get what they are owed. And it can mitigate the damage done by those trying to exact vengeance and settle scores Gardner , — It can ensure that those in positions of power cannot wrong others with impunity, and reduce the likelihood that vindictiveness begets retaliation, which begets violent conflict from which all lose out Wellman , 8— We can add that criminal proceedings may help protect others against being wronged in future.

Those wronged may have a duty to give up control of proceedings in order to provide this protection Tadros c, — These remarks suggest an alternative to the communitarian view. According to the alternative, the secondary duties of concern in civil and criminal proceedings are typically one and the same. Call this the imperfectionist view. What is distinctive of criminal law, on this view, is not its function but its mode of functioning: What is distinctive about criminal law, they claim, is that it publicly censures or condemns.

This expressive function is sometimes associated with criminal punishment Husak , 92— Because other bodies of law sometimes punish, and because punishment typically—perhaps necessarily—expresses censure Feinberg , the expressive function is at least partly shared. But the message sent by criminal law is not sent only at the sentencing stage. Though additional detail may generate the same conclusion in the case of a civil verdict, such detail is not required in the case of criminal conviction.

If this is right, the distinctiveness of criminal law turns out not to consist in the fact that it provides for punishment. It turns out to consist at least in part in the provision of a technique for condemning wrongdoers which does not require that we punish in order to condemn. So far, we have focused on the functions criminal law fulfills in response to the commission of crime. We can see this by asking what success would look like for the criminal law.

Would criminal law have succeeded if all thieves and murderers were tried and punished? Or would it have succeeded if there was no theft or murder, because criminalization resulted in would-be thieves and murderers refraining from such wrongs?

Notice that to pose these two questions as alternatives is not to deny that punishment might be justified in preventive terms. It is rather to suggest that resorting to punishment to achieve prevention is already a partial failure for the criminal law.

It is a failure to deter those who, ex hypothesi , have already committed criminal offences. Had the creation of those offences been an unqualified success, there would have been nothing for which to punish anyone.

Theories of Criminal Law (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Call this the preventive view. Defenders of this view need not say that we should enact whatever laws will achieve the most prevention. That cutting is the function of knives does not entail that knife-holders are justified in cutting whatever they see. Holders of the preventive view can, in other words, accept the existence of constraints on prevention, that are not themselves justified in preventive terms Hart , 35— What they cannot accept is a positive case for criminal law that is not preventive.

Some hold a mixed view that combines elements of those considered above Alexander and Ferzan , 3—19; Simester and von Hirsch , 3—18; Tadros , — One way to construct such a view is by distinguishing between primary and secondary functions. Primary functions are those that, when all else is equal, we have most reason to want the law to fulfil.

Secondary functions are those we have reason to want the law to fulfil if it fails to fulfil its primary functions. Ceteris paribus , we have most reason to want criminal law to bring about a world in which wrongs like theft or murder do not occur.

Failing that, we have reason to want criminal law to call thieves and murderers to account, and to punish those who have no adequate account to offer. There is some scepticism about mixed views. For some, the worries are conceptual.

Moore claims that justified punishment must be imposed for reasons of desert, and that for this reason the punitive and preventive functions cannot be combined. Several replies are available. First, even if this is a problem for a mixed view of punishment , it need not be for a mixed view of criminal law. Grant that punishment must be imposed for reasons of desert. It does not follow that criminal offences cannot be created for reasons of prevention.

Criminalization and punishment are different acts, and can be performed for different reasons Edwards and Simester Reasons that help make a positive case for our actions are often reasons for which we should not act.

That one will be financially secure is a reason to get married, but one should not get married in order to be financially secure. Similarly, to say that prevention helps make a positive case for criminal law—and for punishment—is not to say that judges should punish for that reason. Other worries about mixed views are pragmatic Duff a. As criminal wrongdoing will persist whatever we do, the preventive function sets criminal law an insatiable goal.

There is a standing risk that law-makers who pursue that goal will deprive us of a criminal law that fulfills its other functions.

Consider again the curial view. Plausibly, we have reason to account for wrongs like theft and fraud in criminal court, but no reason to account for every interaction with property or all misleading statements from which we stand to gain.

If defendants are to be called to account for the wrongs, it is these that must be criminalized. To criminalize trivialities—in pursuit of preventive ends—is to drain criminal proceedings of their intrinsic value Duff b. No doubt these are important worries. But they do nothing to suggest that we should reject a mixed view. At most, they show that law-makers also should not take prevention to be part of their mission.

As we already saw, this conclusion does not show that prevention is not part of the positive case for criminal law. And it may anyway be too strong. Law-makers who exclude prevention from their mission may refuse to create crimes that would prevent a great deal of harm. The cost of refusing to create these crimes might be greater than the cost of calling people to account for trivialities, and this might be so even when alternative means of prevention are factored in.

If we should not be abolitionists, criminal law must be capable of realizing some value that gives us sufficient reason to retain it. To offer an account of this value is to offer a general justification of criminal law. Obviously enough, the functions of criminal law tell us something about what this might be.

If the curial view is correct, that value consists in part in people offering answers that they have reason to offer. If the preventive view is correct, it consists in preventing criminal wrongs. So stated, however, these views do not tell us what the value of fulfilling each function actually is.

The punitive view tells us nothing about what justifies criminal punishment. The curial view tells us nothing about the value of calling people to account in criminal courts. The preventive view tells us nothing about the value of preventing crime.

A general justification of criminal law fills this explanatory gap. We can make progress by distinguishing between value of different kinds. Some value is relational—it exists in virtue of relationships in which people stand.

That a relationship has such value is a reason to do what will bring it into existence. The value of friendship is a reason to make friends. The value of egalitarian social relations is a reason to break down barriers of status and rank. Some argue that we have sufficient reason to have criminal law because it helps us enter a valuable relationship: This argument can be developed as follows.

Just as slaves are dependent on their masters, so we are dependent on one another in the absence of a framework of legal rights: To avoid this, we need more than just rights that exist on paper. We need sufficient assurance that our rights will be respected, and we need a mechanism by which their supremacy can be reasserted in the face of wilful violation.

Criminal punishment amounts to reassertion. Crime prevention provides reassurance. At the level of function, this is what the last section called a mixed view. But the value of fulfilling both functions is one and the same: It is not clear why we should accept this claim. One source of doubt is the fact that some agents are unavoidably dependent—they lack the capacities required to live as independent beings. This is true of some non-human animals, and some of those with serious disabilities.

Precisely because of the capacities they lack, these agents are especially vulnerable to being abused or exploited. Ex hypothesi , this does nothing to secure independence.

So it is not something that can be accommodated by the exhaustive form of the Kantian view Tadros b. On another view, the value of criminal law derives from a relationship that pre-exists it: Any such community has values in terms of which it is understood by its members. If this self-understanding is to be more than a charade, the community must actually value its defining values—it must do what those values are reasons to do.

Part of what it is for a community to value life is for it to respond to the taking: Criminal law is a body of law that requires the accounting. Functionally, this is a version of the curial view. But the value of fulfilling that function is relational: This line of thought lends support to what I earlier called the communitarian view. On that view, criminal proceedings discharge secondary duties owed to the community as a whole.

That such duties are part and parcel of a valuable form of relationship helps explains why we should think that they exist. One objection to the view described in the previous paragraph is that it is unduly conservative.

What justifies criminalizing a wrong—on that view—is that the wrong has a pre-existing foothold in the defining values of the community: Some communities, however, are characterised by systematic neglect of important values—by patriarchy, or racism, or distributive inequality. When this is so, part of the justification for criminalization is not that it helps the community remain true to itself, but that it helps transform the community by reconstituting it in valuable ways Dempsey ; Both versions of the relational view—Kantian and communitarian—face another doubt.

It is plausible to think that this wrong is of concern to the criminal law in its own right. It is plausible to think that whatever further effects it might have, preventing the wrong of murder itself helps justify criminalizing murder, and bringing criminal proceedings against murderers.

On both the Kantian and communitarian views this is not the case. What justifies criminalizing wrongs, and bringing criminal proceedings against wrongdoers, is that this contributes to some larger social good—to the framework of legal rules we need for independence, or to the community remaining true to itself.

We may reasonably doubt that wrongs like murder matter to the criminal law only for these further reasons. The above remarks concern the kind of value that justifies having criminal law. We can also ask who is capable of realizing that value. If that value is to be realised, someone must act on behalf of those who stand in the relationship. In most systems of criminal law, the job is done by the state—agents of the state create, apply, and enforce criminal laws.

Some argue that in a legitimate system of criminal law this is the only possibility. This view can be developed in a number of ways. Consider again the Kantian view. Some claim that coercion secures independence only if the coercer speaks for all those coerced.

Otherwise it is just another independence violation. Only state agents can speak for all of us. So the enforcement of the criminal law must remain in their hands Thorburn a, 98— Defenders of the communitarian view tell a similar story.

On both views, it is impossible for private persons to realise the values that justify criminal law.

Criminal Law

If these arguments go through, they have obvious implications for debates about the privatization of prison and police services Dorfman and Harel They also offer us a sense in which criminal law theory must be political. It must face up to the question of whether there are essentially public goods, and ask what role they play in justifying the existence of criminal law Harel , 96— Consider the prevention of harm, or the prevention of moral wrongdoing.

A number of writers appeal to one or both values to justify the existence of criminal law Feinberg , —; Alexander and Ferzan , 17; Simester and von Hirsch , 29— Because there are wrongless harms think of sporting injures caused without foul play and harmless wrongs think of botched conspiracies or undiscovered attempts the aforementioned values do not always wax and wane together.

A third possibility is that harms and wrongs provide two independent sources of general justification compare Tadros , — Whatever the answer, this preventive value is impersonal in two ways: It is worth distinguishing between two versions of this view. According to Moore, all culpable wrongdoers incur a duty to allow themselves to suffer. Retributive justice is done when punishment imposes that suffering, and this is what justifies the imposition of criminal punishment Moore , 70— Moore argues that the suffering of culpable wrongdoers is intrinsically good.

On a rival view, suffering is always intrinsically bad. We must accept, however, that in some cases not all suffering can be avoided. Sometimes we must choose between wrongdoers suffering now and others suffering at the hands of wrongdoers later. Only by imposing the former can we protect against the latter. It might look as though punishing wrongdoers for these protective reasons amounts to treating them as mere means.

But this is not necessarily so. Tadros argues that some wrongdoers incur duties to protect others at the cost of some harm to themselves. We can justify imposing punishments that come at this cost to these wrongdoers, when the punishments protect others by preventing future wrongs. As those punished are only doing their duty, we can reasonably claim that they are not treated as mere means Tadros c; Though Moore and Tadros disagree on many things, their views also have something in common.

The value to which both appeal to justify punishment is impersonal: General justifications of criminal law like those sketched in the last few paragraphs face a number of criticisms.

One objection has it they are unduly expansive: But as the failure is a private matter—to be resolved by the friends themselves—there is no reason for law-makers to criminalize the wrong Duff b; Husak , — There is certainly no reason for them to criminalize it when the friends are both citizens of another state, and the failure occurs in the other jurisdiction Duff Reasons to criminalize exist, as it is often put, only where law-makers have standing.

And the mere fact that a wrong generates the aforementioned secondary duties does not itself give law-makers standing to criminalize it.

According to a second objection, the focus on moral wrongdoing is unduly restrictive: According to one argument for this conclusion, the stable existence of almost any valuable social institution—be it financial, educational, familial, military, or political—depends on widespread compliance with its rules. Under realistic conditions, criminal liability for violation is necessary for stability.

It is the value of stable institutions, not the moral wrongfulness of violating their rules, that justifies bringing criminal law into existence Chiao A third objection returns us to the asymmetry discussed at the end of section 1.

Many of the powers and permissions by means of which criminal justice is done are withheld from private persons. Most obviously, private persons are not typically permitted to use force to punish others for crime. Few think that this should be changed. Vigilantism should remain criminal. If the values that justify having criminal law are essentially public, we appear to have an easy explanation of this fact: If those values are not essentially public, things are more difficult.

Let us take the third objection first. If impersonal values justify having criminal law, we have reason to opt for whichever set of legal rules will realise those values most efficiently. If one set of powers and permissions will achieve more of the value in question at a lower cost, we should—all else being equal—opt for that set. Now compare two sets of rules. One permits state officials and private persons alike to use force to punish criminals.

Another withholds the permissions granted to the former from the latter. We have good reason to think that the first set of rules would bring with it significant costs. Private persons are likely to make more mistakes about who committed crimes, and about how much punishment is appropriate for criminality. Different private punishers are unlikely to punish similarly placed offenders in similar amounts. And as their actions are less easily subjected to public scrutiny, private persons are less easily compelled to punish for the right reasons—in order to do justice rather than settle scores, get revenge, or maximise their profit margins Moore a, 42; Edwards forthcoming.

Avoiding these costs is a strong reason to opt for the second set of rules. True, that set prevents proportionate punishment being imposed by our imagined moot court. But it is plausible to think that this benefit is outweighed by the aforementioned costs. If it is, those who appeal to impersonal values to justify criminal law can explain why the moot court is not permitted to force us to give up our money.

According to the second objection, what justifies having criminal law is its role in stabilizing valuable institutions. By preventing these wrongs, and holding wrongdoers responsible, we stabilize the institutions. The contrast between a general justification focused on moral wrongdoing, and one focused on institutional stability, therefore turns out to be a false contrast Tadros , These observations help make a more general point.

We can accept that criminal law is a tool properly used to support financial, educational, familial, military, and political institutions. Tadros , 68— If this kind of general justification is not too restrictive, is it nonetheless too expansive? This was the first of the three objections raised above. We need not infer that criminal law is unconcerned with moral wrongness. We need only accept that there are facts about criminalization which give law-makers a duty not to criminalize some moral wrongs.

There are many such facts, and their force varies depending on the wrong Simester and von Hirsch , —; Moore In some cases, criminalizing a wrong will inevitably result in selective enforcement, raising concerns about selection being made on discriminatory grounds.

In others, enforcement would necessitate gross invasions of privacy, and require the law to take sides in conflicts better resolved by the parties themselves.

There is often value in freely choosing not to act wrongly, and in so choosing for the right reasons, rather than because one was coerced: It will almost inevitably divert scarce resources from other valuable priorities. And there is often reason to think that criminalization will not result in there being less wrongdoing in the world.

Criminal conduct may be driven underground rather than made less common. Institutions of punishment may house unseen abuse and victimization. Ex-offenders may be driven towards crime by their reduced prospects in life. Where reasons like these generate a duty not to criminalize a wrong, the conduct in question is no business of the criminal law. No-one denies that some things should not be criminalized.

What is less clear is how we are to work out what these things are. One approach is to seek constraints on permissible criminalization. Even if the values that justify having criminal law count in favour of criminalization, our reasons to do so may be defeated by reasons that count against.

A constraint identifies conditions under which the latter reasons always win. Consider, for example, the wrongfulness constraint:. Principles like W give us a line we can draw without reference to at least some morally salient particulars. Conduct that falls outside the line may not be criminalized come what may. Imagine we are considering whether to make it a crime to possess guns.

Doing so will prevent a great deal of harmful wrongdoing that cannot be prevented otherwise. This is a powerful moral reason to criminalize. But if W is sound, and gun possession is not morally wrongful, that powerful reason is irrelevant to the decision with which we are faced. We are not permitted to criminalize, however much harm criminalization would prevent Moore , 72—73; Simester and von Hirsch , 22—23; Duff b, — Some suspect that all purported constraints on criminalization fail Duff et al , 44—52; Tadros , 91— This is not to say that anything goes.

It is rather to say that we cannot use a line like that drawn by W to work out what is permissibly criminalized. To trace the limits of the criminal law, we must engage in a more complex normative exercise: The limits of the criminal law cannot be traced in advance of this exercise.

Instead, they are determined by it. The constraint to which most attention has been paid is the so-called harm principle. It is nowadays widely recognised that there is no single such principle. Rather, there are many harm principles Tadros a; Tomlin b; Edwards These principles have very different implications.

That conduct is harmful, or unreasonably risks harm, does not show that we will prevent a proportionate amount of harm by criminalizing it.

Conversely, we may be able to prevent harm only by criminalizing conduct that is harmless, and that does not unreasonably risk harm. To see the first point, consider the use of drugs. Criminalizing use may turn a drug into forbidden fruit that is more attractive to potential consumers, and place production in the hands of criminal gangs who make consumption ever more harmful.

Users may become less willing to seek medical treatment for fear of exposing their criminality, and may end up with criminal records that lead to social exclusion, and damage their employment prospects for years to come United Nations Where criminalization does have these effects, the harm it does is out of all proportion to any harm prevented. To see the second point, consider the possession of guns.

Possessing a gun is not itself harmful. And many possess guns without unreasonably risking harm. If one endorses HPP , things are different. What matters is not the effect of each instance of gun possession, but the effect of criminalizing all of them: To apply W we need to know what makes something morally wrongful. But while this is necessary, it may not be sufficient. I have decisive reason not to go out in the rain without my umbrella. But it does not seem morally wrongful to do so Tadros , 11— Whatever the correct criterion, we must ask how law-makers are to apply it.

We must also ask whether just any morally wrongful act will do. Some wrongful acts also violate rights, such that those who commit them wrong others. Some crimes are mala in se —they criminalize conduct that is morally wrongful independently of the law. Most crimes are mala prohibita —they criminalize conduct that, if morally wrongful at all, is morally wrongful partly in virtue of the fact that it is unlawful. Is W compatible with the existence of mala prohibita?

That depends on the extent to which changes in the law can produce changes in morality. The rules of the road are the classic case.

Apart from the law, it is morally wrongful to drive dangerously. Such conduct is malum in se. What we should do to conform to this moral norm is not always obvious.

To help, the law puts in place rules that tell us which side of the road to drive on, when to stop, and how fast we may go. Imagine we obey these rules. In doing so, we drive more safely than we otherwise would have: One proposal is that it is morally wrongful to violate legal norms that have this effect: Mala prohibita of this kind would then be compatible with W.

Of course, things are not so straightforward. Even if legal conformity generally improves our moral conformity, there may be exceptional cases in which it does not—in which we can violate the rules of the road without putting anyone in danger, or in which violation helps keep everyone safe. And there may be people for whom even the generalization is not true—whose expertise enables them to systematically violate legal norms without creating risks any greater than those created by the rest of us.

Can an explanation be given of why these violations are nonetheless morally wrongful? If not, W implies that even morally beneficial mala prohibita —like the rules of the road—must ultimately be removed from the criminal law Husak , —; Simester and von Hirsch , 24—29; Wellman Most views are comparative: One challenge is to identify the relevant baseline. Are we harmed by an event if we are worse than we would have been if things had been different? If so, different how?

Are we harmed if we are worse off than we were immediately beforehand? Or should we focus not on the position we were or would have been in, but on the position we should have been in morally speaking Holtug ; Tadros , —? A second challenge is to determine in what way we must be worse off. The wider our answer to this question, the more likely it is that harm principles collapse into their supposed rivals.

Some say we are harmed when our interests are set back Feinberg , 31— But it is plausible to think that we have interests in avoiding disgust, annoyance, and dismay. Many people are disgusted, annoyed, or dismayed by what they take to be morally wrongful. On an interest-based view, they are also harmed. Any harm principle that uses this notion of harm thus threatens to permit criminalization of much conventional immorality Devlin A narrower view has it that we are harmed only if our future prospects are reduced, because we are deprived of valuable abilities or opportunities Raz , —; Gardner , 3—4; Simester and von Hirsch , 36— Disgust, annoyance, and offence need not—and often do not—have this effect.

So they need not be—and often are not—harmful. Whatever view of harm we take, we must also decide whether all harms count for the purposes of a given harm principle. People sometimes harm themselves, they are sometimes harmed by natural events, and harm is sometimes done consensually. Recall that if we endorse HPP , we must decide whether the harm criminalization prevents is proportionate to the harm it does.

Can we include all the aforementioned harms in our calculations? Or must we only include harm done to others without their consent Mill ; Dworkin ; Feinberg ; Coons and Weber ? Be that as it may, whether we take into account other harms remains important: As well as asking how constraints might be clarified, we must ask how they might be defended.

One type of defence proceeds from within our theory of ideals. A theory of ideals includes an account of the values that bear upon how we should act, and of the priority relations between those values Hamlin and Stemplowska To see how such a theory might generate constraints, consider W.

One argument for that principle is the argument from conviction Simester and von Hirsch , 19— One response to these arguments is that criminal law does not always censure or stigmatize. Another is that the arguments rely on priority claims that cannot be sustained. The argument from conviction depends on our accepting that moral defamation cannot be justified.

Pdf criminal law

The argument from punishment depends on our accepting that those who do not act wrongly have an absolute right not to be punished. These claims may be too strong. To test the second, think again about possession of guns. Imagine that we criminalize possession, and that we have good reason to think that we can thereby save many lives.

It is plausible to think not. This would likely result in some lives being lost. The fact that not punishing safe possessors would probably have this effect is a good reason to think that safe possessors lack a valid complaint if they are punished. It is a good reason to think that it sometimes is permissible to punish the morally innocent.

If it is, premise 3 of the argument from punishment is false Tadros , — Now consider HPP. Whatever one thinks of this means of prevention, it is not the means we utilize when we make use of criminal law. Absent perfect compliance, criminal law prevents wrongs by publicly making accusations, condemning people as wrongdoers, and punishing them for their wrongs.

Public accusations often stick even if nothing comes of them. Punishment is harmful by its very nature. Some claim that we can justify causing such harm—at least when the state does the harming—only if this is a necessary and proportionate means of preventing people being harmed.

So it is impermissible to criminalize when this condition is not satisfied. One might reply that the harm internal to justified punishment is harm we lack reason not to impose. Leaving this aside, it is far from obvious that harm has lexical priority over other values. The above argument for HPP seems to depend on this claim. But there is wrongdoing that is both serious and harmless. It is plausible to think that the value of preventing such wrongs, even when this does not prevent harm, is at least sometimes capable of justifying the harm done by criminalization Tadros , — A second defence of constraints proceeds from within non-ideal theory: One might say that all criminal law theory is part of non-ideal theory—that we have reason to have criminal law precisely because people will otherwise act wrongly.

Be that as it may. As well as fallible agents who would otherwise commit crimes, there are fallible agents who make, apply, and enforce criminal laws. Any non-ideal theory must also take account of the errors the latter are disposed to make. Some are errors of application and enforcement—errors made when police officers arrest, prosecutors charge, and courts punish the innocent. More important for present purposes are the errors law-makers are disposed to make when creating crimes.

These errors matter here for the following reason. If followed, speed limits prevent some drivers from driving in ways that are impeccable in isolation. Let us grant that, when followed, constraints like W or HPP prevent some law-makers from criminalizing in ways that are impeccable in isolation. Many defenders of HPP offer defences that proceed in the manner just described. One error is that of underestimating the value in lives very different from our own: A second error is that of underestimating the value of toleration.

That value includes making space for experiments in living, which both help combat prejudice by exposing people to the unfamiliar, and help people develop deliberative faculties by exposing them to that with which they disagree Mill ; Brink If the main effects of criminalizing drug use are felt in communities the affluent shun, it is not hard to see how law-makers could be blind to the amount of damage criminalization does.

Law-makers who make each of these errors will be tempted to create criminal laws that are anything but impeccable—laws designed to suppress activities the value in which has been missed, which do much more harm than their designers anticipated.

The case for HPP is that it stands in the way of this temptation. Those who follow it must tolerate conduct—however offensive or immoral they deem it to be—unless they can show that criminalization is a necessary and proportionate means of preventing harm.

Harm-based arguments are nowadays ubiquitous when proposed criminal laws are discussed. Some think this shows that HPP is no constraint at all Harcourt But it is no surprise that those who merely pay lip service to a principle are not constrained by it. The argument of the previous paragraph was an argument that HPP should be followed. To follow that principle is to take seriously the need for an empirical showing—grounded in adequate evidence—that a given law is necessary to prevent a proportionate amount of harm.

A better objection is that the error-based argument is incomplete. How widespread would error be if law-makers took themselves to be free of HPP? When are the benefits of following HPP —in errors prevented—worth the costs—in otherwise impeccable criminal laws? Might there be some other rule that brings us those benefits at a lower cost than HPP? We need answers to all these questions, and more, to know if an argument from within non-ideal theory can support HPP Tadros , 94— A number of other possible constraints on the criminal law have been proposed Dan-Cohen , —; Ripstein As mentioned earlier, some are skeptical of all such principles.

The correct response to this skepticism remains unclear. One possibility is that a defensible general line can indeed be found. The question is where the line is, and how it is to be defended against objections like those sketched above. If so, we must ask what shape that theory ought to take, and how lofty should be the ambitions of those who construct it.

Elements of offences that require particular mental states are known as mens rea elements. Other elements are known as actus reus elements. Responsibility is understood here as answerability Duff , 19— While we are answerable to the courts for committing offences, we may avoid liability by offering satisfactory answers in the form of defences.

This account of criminal responsibility—call it the answerability account —relies on a distinction between offence and defence to which we will return. One argument for the answerability account invokes rules of criminal procedure and evidence. The best explanation of these rules, so the argument goes, is that offending acts generate a duty to answer that is otherwise absent. Some think that, on closer inspection, our rules of procedure and evidence fail to support the answerability account, and help to undermine it.

This matters here for the following reason. It suggests that we owe the criminal courts answers not for acts that are offences but for acts that are crimes —for offending acts which do not satisfy an available defence.

Obviously enough, it is for crimes that we are criminally liable. I am not a legal expert and cannot comment specifically to the accuracy; however, I do appreciate the long list of individuals provided that were identified as having reviewed the material prior to publication specifically for that purpose. Criminal law itself will be unchanging, but its interpretation will. The author has included contemporary cases and other examples that provide the student with an understanding of the applications.

It is made clear that there will be variations in different jurisdictions and that many of the examples are illustrative in nature. Criminal Law is an easy read and any terms that would be unfamiliar to the undergraduate student is well defined and used in examples.

The exercises throughout the text also offer methods of becoming familiar with the language. Criminal law is written in a way that is easy to follow and each chapter is laid out in the same fashion which makes the material very easy to navigate. The chapters are broken up into easy to read subunits and there are several references to other areas of the book if there is a reference that needs to be made. This format makes it easy for the student and instructor to connect material moving forward allowing this book to be more comprehensive.

The topics were laid out in a way that was easy to follow and permits the student to build on previous information as they read forward. The beginning lays out general information about criminal law and the legal system and then breaks down into more specific elements related to criminal law. All links throughout the book were active and images look clear.

The text is laid out in an easy to read format for the computer screen. The text and supplemental materials are extremely user friendly. There were no grammatical errors noted throughout the text. The book is easy to follow and well written. There was nothing that stood out as anything that may be offensive within the material or the examples. If there were references to cultural differences within examples, it is strictly due to relevance to the issue being discussed.

I am excited that there is a simple, easy to read foundational text in criminal law that can be shared with my forensic students. These students may or may not choose law school, but there should be a holistic understanding of how their work fits into the legal system as they go on to play a critical role in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity.

Reviewed by B. The entire textbook actually reads When I adopt a textbook, I want it to be comprehensive enough so that I can base my lectures on the chapter topic highlights; here it seems that the author does the opposite. Were I a student, I would think that reading this book would leave me with many more questions than answers. To me, those are fundamentally different aims. Because citations tell you so much important information about a case! Generally speaking, I think it would be helpful to have examples from case law throughout the book to illustrate how concepts apply.

Case law is rich with great examples, which are conspicuously absent. Some of the topics warrant more in-depth treatment. The book is consistently cursory, does that count?

No seriously… I do think it somewhat odd that some topics are treated in more detail than others e. The organization is confusing because criminal homicide gets its own chapter, but then subsequent chapters are organized like most state criminal codes e. The way subject matter is presented is both unclear and inconsistent which makes it confusing. Is that why robbery is classed with property crimes?

I think some of the topic ordering is a little counterintuitive, at least to me, and so is how some of the topics are grouped. Affirmative defenses of Justification and excuse seem to be conflated here, and there are actually a number of really important substantive differences between the two categories.

I do really like the exercises presented in each chapter, especially the ones in which students have to read a scenario and determine some point of law discussed in the chapter. And he was right!

These exercises are really helpful in that regard. No examples, so no problems of potential offensiveness! I wouldn't adopt this textbook for a college course. As it reads more like a superficial study guide, it maybe more appropriate for high school readers. My general impression is that it doesn't effectively equip students with the requisite knowledge they should have having taken a criminal law class.

Everything in it seems pretty "dumbed down. The subject matter is just not done justice pun intended. My first more specific impression opening this e-Book, though, is that the table of contents is not appropriately detailed. Section 1. Case law? English legal heritage? Administrative regulations? Stare decisis? Statutory law? And so forth. We all know that students have limited attention spans these days, so whatever can be done to make the topics more readily accessible and easy to locate would be helpful.

The list of key concepts at the start of each section is helpful though. Introduction to Criminal Law. What is the point of that? Is this an "intro to policing" book? I don't get it. Overall the first page looks to me like a pretty sophomoric attempt at starting Chapter 1.

All I can deduce is that the author has some kind of preoccupation with cars, given the dodge charger and BMW references!? The first page of Chapter 1 sets the tone for the rest of the book, and as such, if I were a student I would be reticent to slog through any further.

This introductory criminal law text covers almost all major areas of criminal law, but it would be nice if it covered the evolving fields of terrorism and cyber security a bit better. The table of contents is concise and provides useful The table of contents is concise and provides useful navigation. The lesson content is a bit brief and simplistic, but it is suitable for an undergraduate introduction to criminal law class.

Fortunately, criminal law evolves slowly, so this text should have good longevity. It does not cover much criminal procedure, but the portions of it that deal with procedure could become dated in the event of a major, reformative Supreme Court opinion which is true of all criminal procedure texts.

The formatting and content are consistent. The degree of difficulty of the content remains at the same level throughout the work. The book stays within the middle of the political spectrum, with a slight tendency towards libertarian views. This textbook is comprehensive; it is substantially equivalent in content to the published textbook including its updates our department has used for the last 10 years. It covers the key concepts that will meet our student learning outcomes.

I particularly like the End of Chapter material, the Key Takeaway boxes and the Exercises and the inclusion, with links, to supplemental material. I would like to have included a section on White Collar Crimes; we teach this section and incorporate material on bias, implicit bias, sentencing disparities and investigations. Also it would be important to include Cyber Crimes; however, this could be added if the book can be remixed. The content is accurate based on a random sampling of the material; the links to supplemental worked and that content was unbiased.

I also paid attention to the names used in the examples to be certain they were race neutral to avoid any further stereotyping and implicit bias.

The content is up-to-date and relevant with the exception of the omission of Cyber Crimes and Financial Crimes; these are codified in all states and some of the fastest growing. Framework is good with the exception of the a couple of Key Takeaway boxes were not consistently formatted in color.

This was excellent! Chunking is a best practice teaching strategy and this format is very conducive to this method. The individual learning objectives at the beginning of each unit and subunit are also helpful for aligning with our course student learning outcomes. Nice structure and flow; in a side by side comparison with the text I currently use, it is much more appealing visually and manageable.

I especially like that the cases are attached as links to supplemental material rather than embedded in the text. The heavy text based materials often intimidate lower to mid level undergraduate students and they become discouraged depending on their learning styles. The interface is great. I like the differentiation of the colors which signifies a change to students.

The colors are also compatible with accessibility and screen reading. I liked the relevance and updated content and examples. The Tom DeLay case is one example of a recent event that illustrates crime occurs at all socio economic levels and demographic groups.

I appreciate the care taken to create an open source book that is comprehensive, easy to navigate and meets accessibility standards. The color coding makes it easy for undergraduate students to perform a knowledge check after reading the chapter material. Additionally, the multiple formats make it even more accessible for students. The text is comprehensive.


I have been teaching Criminal Law for over 20 years and have used several textbooks. This Open Source text covers, for the most part, every major subject in Criminal Law that was covered in prior textbooks that I have This Open Source text covers, for the most part, every major subject in Criminal Law that was covered in prior textbooks that I have used in the past.

Although the book appear to lack a traditional index and glossary separate in the book, there are lots of information, links to other websites, etc to provide plenty of information regarding key terms and concepts. The content in this textbook appears to be accurate. It provides many references i. The Content in this text is taken primarily from Since it is now , it is probably due for an update.

However, it was noted that University of Minnesota Library edited this material in Notwithstanding, a lot of the material used is still relevant for understanding Criminal Law concepts. The good thing here is that it appears to be a relatively easy process to update information which can make for an easy transition from old to new and thereby strengthening the longevity of the overall text.

The book is written in plain language that allows for clarity of information. It is relatively concise, straight forward and appears to be very user friendly for undergraduate students. Also, the book provides many examples and figures visual aids and illustrations that further explains many of the terms technical and otherwise for better understanding.

The text is, for the most part, consistent throughout in terms of the order or layout from chapter to chapter. Each chapter is consistent in its presentation i. One caveat however is that the terms in blue are not always consistent in that some are links to other information and some of the terms are just written in blue.

Again, the book is arranged in a modular format via chapter and sections. Each chapter are broken down into sections which include relevant terms and concepts that directs back to the chapter.

The text places the table of contents in the area prior to downloading the textbook. Probably would have been best at the beginning which would help with even better navigation. Nonetheless, the sections within each chapter still provides enough navigation within the chapters sufficient to maintain a reasonable flow of information.

This book displays good organization, structure and flow. The organization of the chapters pursuant to various criminal law subjects are relatively consistent with other texts that I have used in the past.

The table of contents could have been better placed at the top of chapter 1, but not a deal breaker as for as organization is concerned. The structure is good, particularly, the alignment of the chapters with the charts, graphs, illustrations, videos, etc. Finally, the chapters provide a favorable flow from one area of criminal law to the next. In some spots, I was not able to get back right away to original page after clicking on some of the illustrations.

I had to go totally out of the page and back to downloads to get back into the text. Could be an issue with my computer, just not sure. However, a lot of the links did work. Appeared to contain common issues relative to Criminal Law and Criminal Justice that may create some controversial discussion, but nothing appearing to be unbiased, culturally or otherwise. I thought this textbook would be one I could be comfortable with adopting for my class.

It contains the major topics, relative to Criminal Law, that are consistent with the topics in many of the leading textbooks for purchase and that I have used before. In conclusion, this book appears to be a good textbook overall based on the above reasons provided in the review above and one that I may consider recommending to others.

Reviewing the TOC provides a comprehensive overview of the subject matter found in typical Criminal Law textbooks. In comparison to another book, they cover the same material such as sources and limitations of law, jurisdiction and defining In comparison to another book, they cover the same material such as sources and limitations of law, jurisdiction and defining elements of a crime.

This text utilizes reliable sourced information that are accessible in the text to check for accuracy. I believe the book is presented in a neutral manner and is unbiased. The information has a mixed of old and new content indicative of various criminal law books. Different types of dated content are necessary to understand application of law and diverse decisions by judicial bodies.

Law pdf criminal

Clarity in this text comes from the chunked structure, followed by practical examples and exercises. This book is consistent with the learning objectives, content and exercises to match objectives.

The consistency should be helpful for those needing to be in compliance with Bloom's Taxonomy. This book is complied nicely. Instead of reading a very long page of information online, the sections were divided by subject matter and thoroughly covered content in a succinctly.

Structurally, the text was easy to navigate and read. The charts and images were not distorted or distracting. I did not get a sense that the book was culturally insensitive. The focus of the text was an introduction to the topic of criminal law and is neutral in its presentation of cases and facts. The text appears comprehensive but the lack of a Table of Contents page makes it difficult to assess at first glance the scope of the work.

It is written in a way that it could be easily updated by adding relevant cases e. I can see such concepts being made relevant by a switch to the case du jour. The text was inclusive and relevant for today's criminal justice system debates and controversies. I would have liked to know the author and the TOC should have been displayed at the front-end.

Other than that, great work! Criminal law textbooks require a number of specific topics in order to meet the expectations of the course. This textbook contains those essential elements. The table of contents very clearly outlines each chapters and subsection so that An appendix contains a listing of relevant cited case citations for further review.

There does not appear to be a glossary or index apart from the appendix but each chapter concludes with an "End of Chapter" section that lists answers to exercises, questions, case listings, summaries, and links to applicable cases, articles, and websites. This text follows the standard format that most criminal law texts adopt. Each subsection within the 14 chapters can be easily updated with seminal cases that may emerge.

Most of the content within this text will remain intact but the format allows for efficient updates, as necessary.

Theories of Criminal Law

The author utilizes examples that will be of interest for a number of years. This was one of the text's key strengths. This text was extremely accessible to students of all levels.

It contained excellent examples and explanations that illustrated each of the main concepts. I especially enjoyed the author's writing style. I found the prose both well-written and conversational, which contributes to the strength of this text. The presentation of the material throughout each chapter was complemented by interesting examples and critical thinking exercises that encourage application of the material. This text followed a consistent framework throughout.

Each chapter was laid out in the established format containing each of the content areas. The material was presented with applicable exercises and questions throughout.

Each chapter concludes with an "End of Chapter" section that lists answers to exercises, questions, case listings, summaries, and links to applicable cases, articles, and websites.

I found the summaries and exercises especially useful.