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Vulnerable Adults and the Law$
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Jonathan Herring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737278.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 May 2021

Criminal Law and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

Criminal Law and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

(p.183) 7 Criminal Law and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults
Vulnerable Adults and the Law

Jonathan Herring

Oxford University Press

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

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