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The Oxford History of the Laws of EnglandVolume XIII: 1820–1914 Fields of Development$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.001.0001

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General Principles of Criminal Law

General Principles of Criminal Law

Chapter:
(p.217) VII General Principles of Criminal Law
Source:
The Oxford History of the Laws of England
Author(s):

Keith Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.003.0007

This chapter discusses the general principles of criminal law. It considers common fault concepts together with the substance and structure of general defences. Criminal fault represents the most distinctive and varied incriminatory component of liability; and, broadly, the exculpatory mechanisms of defences represent the other side of the conceptual coin. A second dimension of general principles embraces auxiliary or complementary forms of criminal liability, spanning and operating alongside specific offences; the most significant of these are inchoate liability (incitement, conspiracy, and attempt), and complicity or secondary liability. To a greater or lesser degree, all of these areas of ‘general principles’ underwent significant development in the 19th century.

Keywords:   English law, criminal law, criminal fault, defences, criminal liability

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