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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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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: 27 January 2021

General Principles of Criminal Law

General Principles of Criminal Law

(p.217) VII General Principles of Criminal Law
The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Keith Smith

Oxford University Press

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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