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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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Testing Fidelity to Legal Values: Official Involvement and Criminal Justice

Testing Fidelity to Legal Values: Official Involvement and Criminal Justice

(p.299) 13 Testing Fidelity to Legal Values: Official Involvement and Criminal Justice
Criminal Law Theory


Oxford University Press

Some defences, such as duress and necessity, do not rest on the absence of mens rea or actus reus. Various defences derive their strength chiefly from the absence of mens rea but have been developed so as to incorporate limiting conditions from other sources, for example, mistake and intoxication. A curious aspect of English law is that a defence may be rejected as such and yet indirectly be allowed, in practice, if and to the extent that the elements of that same defence can be regarded as negativing a key fault element for a particular crime. This chapter examines three issues with a view to probing the foundations and the boundaries of the relevant doctrines and their place in a system both of criminal law and of criminal justice. These issues are: officially-induced mistake of law, entrapment, and law enforcement motivation. The recognition of these three doctrines as an indication of fidelity to legal values is also considered.

Keywords:   criminal law, criminal justice, defence, legal systems, legal values, officially-induced mistake of law, entrapment, law enforcement motivation

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