Answering for Crime

Responsibility and Liability in the Criminal Law

By Antony Duff

This long-awaited book, by the celebrated philosopher Antony Duff, offers a new perspective on the structures of criminal law and criminal liability. The book's starting point is a distinction between responsibility (understood as answerability) and liability, and a conception of responsibility as relational and practice-based. This focus on responsibility, as a matter of being answerable to those who have the standing to call one to account, throws new light on a range of questions in criminal law theory: on the question of criminalization, which can now be cast as the question of what we should have to answer for, and to whom, under the threat of criminal conviction and punishment; on questions about the criminal trial, as a process through which defendants are called to answer, and about the conditions (bars to trial) given which a trial would be illegitimate; on questions about the structure of offenses, the distinction between offenses and defenses, and the phenomena of strict liability and strict responsibility; and on questions about the structures of criminal defenses. The net result is not a theory of criminal law, but it is an account of the structure of criminal law as an institution through which a liberal polity defines a realm of public wrongdoing, and calls to account those who perpetrate (or are accused of perpetrating) such wrongs. Answering for Crime will be essential reading for criminal law theorists.


322 pages

Publication Date: 11/13/2007
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781841137537

Available in other formats