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Rationale-Based Defences in Criminal Law

By: Mark Dsouza
Media of Rationale-Based Defences in Criminal Law
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Published: 04-05-2017
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 216
ISBN: 9781509902972
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £31.50
Online price : £18.90
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About Rationale-Based Defences in Criminal Law

“Despite the existing scholarly literature on criminal defences, many issues remain contested or unresolved. Dr Dsouza offers a thorough and scholarly treatment of a complex topic which can be expected to become a point of reference for future work in the field.”
Professor James Chalmers, University of Glasgow

“Mark Dsouza has produced an engaging, incisive and cogently argued monograph, that makes an original contribution to criminal law theory. Required reading for scholars and graduate students working on criminal law defences.”
Professor Paul Roberts, University of Nottingham

Although it is often accepted that rationale-based defences to criminal liability can be justificatory or excusatory, disagreements about how best to conceptualise the categories of justification and excuse have appeared so interminable that some theorists argue that they should be abandoned altogether. This book offers a novel, principled, and intuitively appealing conceptual account of the natures of justifications and excuses, showing how they differ, and why the distinction between them matters.

The monograph breaks new ground by defending a model of rationale-based defences that turns solely on the quality of the defendant's reasoning. This model is shown to generate appealing liability outcomes, advance convincing solutions to questions that have puzzled criminal lawyers for years, and offer suggestions for doctrinal reform that are both normatively sound, and practical. By proposing new ways to think about defences, this book makes an original contribution to criminal law theory that will be of benefit to academics, practitioners, and persons interested in law reform.

Table Of Contents

Part I: Overview
1. The Proposed Borders of Justification and Excuse
Part II: Defences in the Structure of the Criminal Law
2. Reasons and Perspective in the Criminal Law
3. The Normative Guidance Underlying the Criminal Law
Part III: Translating Theory into Doctrine
4. The Theoretical Framework of Rationale-Based Defences
5. The Contours of Paradigmatic Justifications
6. Rationale-Based Excuses
7. Supervening Justificatory Necessity
8. Mapping the Model's Implications


“Dsouza reveals how much more thinking remains to be done about one of criminal law theory's most discussed topics ... those seeking to make further progress in thinking about defences in criminal law will profit by engaging with this thoughtful, challenging and inventive book.” –  James Edwards, The Modern Law Review

“This is an impressive piece of work: it is carefully reasoned, responsive to existing debates in criminal law theory, and always mindful of the practical implications of the theoretical claims it defends.” –  Zachary Hoskins, University of Nottingham, Criminal Law and Philosophy

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