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Markets, Morals, and the Law$
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Jules L. Coleman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253609.001.0001

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Crimes, kickers and transaction structures

Crimes, kickers and transaction structures

(p.153) 6. Crimes, kickers and transaction structures
Markets, Morals, and the Law

Jules L. Coleman

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks why it is necessary to have a criminal law at all — a question philosophers of law have largely ignored. Critics are quick to dismiss forms of strict liability as morally objectionable, as departures from the requirements of justice that are justifiable only in certain narrowly defined areas of law in which strict liability has strikingly positive effects on reducing the level of harmful activity. The prevailing view suggests that strict liability is normally indefensible because justice prohibits us from penalising people who cause harm through no fault of their own. The chapter presents a contrary view.

Keywords:   criminal law, strict liability, crime, economic theory of crime, transactions, Richard Posner, Alvin Klevorick, kickers, torts

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