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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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Limitations on Criminalization and the General Part of Criminal Law

Limitations on Criminalization and the General Part of Criminal Law

(p.13) 2 Limitations on Criminalization and the General Part of Criminal Law
Criminal Law Theory


Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the general part of criminal law might be construed to include doctrines that place significant limitations on criminalisation — on the kinds of conduct that may be subject to punishment in the special part of criminal law. It explains why it is not necessary to embrace a conception of the general part that is neutral about the question of what conduct may be proscribed. It discusses the motivation for including doctrines about criminalisation in the general part of criminal law and describes limitations that might be derived from reflections about the nature of crime. The chapter also argues that the basis of hostility to strict liability might give rise to constraints on the content of offences and derives possible restrictions on criminalisation from the need to justify punishment. It suggests how the need to interpret and apply various defences from liability can preclude enactment of some criminal offences.

Keywords:   criminalisation, criminal law, general part, punishment, crime, strict liability, criminal offences, defences

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