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Criminal Law TheoryDoctrines of the General Part$
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Stephen Shute and Andrew Simester

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243495.001.0001

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Recklessness and the Duty to Take Care

Recklessness and the Duty to Take Care

(p.227) 10 Recklessness and the Duty to Take Care
Criminal Law Theory


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses recklessness and the duty to take care. Recklessness is concerned with risks, in particular the risk that the actus reus of a criminal offence will come about. Two of the necessary conditions that must be fulfilled if criminal liability is justly to be imposed upon a defendant are discussed: first, the defendant is responsible for a particular prohibited consequence, action or state of affairs; second, the defendant's action is a manifestation of one of a narrow range of vices, in particular vices that show that the defendant has insufficient regard for the interests of others. Criminal responsibility for the harm must be derived, at least in part, from the defendant's moral responsibility for the beliefs that he/she has and acts upon.

Keywords:   recklessness, criminal law, risks, criminal liability, vices, harm, beliefs, responsibility, duty to take care

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