Answering for Crime

Answering for Crime : Responsibility and Liability in the Criminal Law

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This is the paperback edition of Antony Duff's acclaimed new work on the structures of criminal law and criminal liability. His 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 criminalisation, 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 offences, the distinction between offences and defences, and the phenomena of strict liability and strict responsibility; and on questions about the structures of criminal defences.
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 those who perpetrate (or are accused of perpetrating) such wrongs to account. "For a criminal law theorist, this book is simply a must read. Duff's sweeping coverage of criminal law-ranging from the act requirement to justifications and excuses-offers a structural edifice that is indispensible. Though one may not always agree with Duff, his original analysis and complex rethinking provides significant insights into the most central questions within criminal law theory. One cannot help but learn from Duff. And anyone who wishes to be taken seriously in criminal law theory will have to grapple with his arguments." Kimberley Kessler Ferzan, Criminal Justice Ethics, 2009 "Philosophers who specialize in normative inquiries but find the time to read only one book in criminal theory every few years should immediately place Answering for Crime at the very top of their pile.
It is the best book to have appeared in the philosophy of criminal law in the last decade, and the finest book ever to have focused on the structure of criminal responsibility. Answering for Crime cements Antony Duff's reputation as one of the two most important philosophers of criminal law living in the Anglo-American world today...Answering for Crime is an exceedingly original work of legal philosophy written in a refreshingly accessible style...I believe that any future work on the structure of criminal responsibility and liability must begin with Duff's work. No existing book in the philosophy of criminal law can rival the breadth, scope, and sophistication contained in Duff's analysis. I admire Answering for Crime deeply and recommend it strongly not only to criminal theorists, but also to all philosophers interested in how criminal theory sheds light on normative inquiry generally." Douglas Husak, Law and Philosophy, 2009 "...the book is an ambitious one, and has implications for almost every aspect of criminal law theory...As was to be expected from one of the most philosophically sophisticated yet institutionally sensitive writers in the field of criminal law theory, Answering for Crime is a rich book that makes a very substantial contribution to the discipline.
..The argument is complex and, particularly in the early chapters, does not always make for easy reading; but the conception is clear, elegant, and fully worked through..." Nicola Lacey, New Criminal Law Review, 2009 "It covers so many important issues with such clarity and rigour that one review cannot possibly do it justice...What Duff says about crimes, but also his views about a whole range of other issues, are deeply thought out and important...Duff's book does more to articulate a clear and structured view of criminal responsibility than has been achieved to date and his account of criminal responsibility and liability, as well as of the central doctrines and practices of criminal responsibility, will have lasting significance for criminal lawyers and philosophers alike." Victor Tadros, Mind, 2009
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 18mm | 489g
  • Hart Publishing
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1849460337
  • 9781849460330
  • 671,653

Review quote

... given the range of topics covered in Answering for Crime, it holds something of interest for everyone. ... Duff has achieved the rare feat of writing a book which is both theoretically rigorous and extremely readable. Too often, legal theory monographs require a certain (usually quite high) base-level of background knowledge to be intelligible. This is regrettable, and inevitably impacts upon their readership and the reception of the author's ideas in the wider legal community. Answering for Crime does not suffer from this defect, and those unfamiliar with Duff's earlier work, or criminal law theory generally, should not be deterred from picking up a copy. Findlay Stark Social and Legal Studies Volume 20, Issue 3 Duff's publication Answering for Crime is cause to celebrate because, while it includes some previously published material, it is a seamless exposition of a unified and original thesis...I cannot do justice to the richness and nuance of Answering for Crime...it brims with insights even apart from its central thesis...I have no doubt that this book will be regarded as a major contribution to criminal law theory. The book overflows with sophisticated collateral insights, and its central thesis will surely become a focus of scholarly attention for years to come. Peter Westen Oxford Journal of Legal Studies Vol 28, No 3, 2008 ...an important yet highly readable book...contains many new insights and which, equally importantly, tackles complex issues of criminal law theory with a rare clarity...this book proves that complex issues can be discussed at an elevated level without making them incomprehensible to all but a small group of dedicated theorists. Indeed, the book should be of interest not just to academics but also to students and even- unusually for a book in this field - practitioners and policy makers. Fiona Leverick Edinburgh Law Review Vol 13, 2009 Answering for Crime is an important contribution to criminal law theory. Academics interested in criminal law will find Duff's newest opus a rich resource and a rewarding target. One can, however, go further: Canadian criminal law practitioners will find it has much to say on issues of concern to them as counsel in particular cases and more generally as lawyers seeking to improve the administration of justice. Michael Plaxton Canadian Criminal Law Review Volume 13, Number 3, Sept 2009 ...the greatest contribution of this marvelous book lies in Antony Duff's elegant and arresting vision of criminal law's conceptual foundation...magnificent. Adil Ahmad Haque The Law and Politics Book Review Vol. 18 No.5 (May 2008)
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About Antony Duff

Antony Duff is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He has written widely on the philosophy of law, and most particularly on the philosophy of crime and punishment.
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