The law relating to general defences is one of the most important areas in the criminal law, yet the current state of the law in the United Kingdom reveals significant problems in the adoption of a consistent approach to their doctrinal and theoretical underpinnings, as exemplified by a number of recent developments in legislation and case law. A coherent and joined-up approach is still missing. This volume provides an analysis of the main contentious areas in British law, and proposes ways forward for reform. The collection includes contributions from leading experts across various jurisdictions. Part I examines the law in the United Kingdom, with specialist contributions on Irish and Scottish law. Part II consists of contributions by authors from a number of foreign jurisdictions, all written to a common research grid for maximum comparability, which provide a wider background of how other legal systems treat problems relating to general defences in the context of the criminal law, and which may serve as points of reference for domestic law reform.
’This publication comes when there is a wide debate concerning modes of liability. Consequently an examination of defences falls into essential focus. It deals expertly with complex issues including transfer, duress, insanity, mistake and reasonableness. The comparative elements are especially welcome. It is an inspiring read and scholarly tool for criminal jurists.’ HE Judge Howard Morrison, International Criminal Court ’At present, the fight against impunity� is fashionable. Whilst the mainstream discusses elements of crime and tries to extend punishability, the defendant’s rights are rather ignored. This compilation fills that gap. It discusses in great detail defences in practice and theory from a general and a comparative perspective. Audi alteram partem!’ Judge Prof. Wolfgang Schomburg, 1995-2008 German Federal High Court and UNICTY/UNICTR ’Any just legal system has to reflect carefully on the situations when an individual can avail herself of a defence so as to avoid criminal liability. Academic scrutiny is also essential to ascertain whether the boundaries set can be justified. By drawing together leading scholars from around the world, Professors Reed and Bohlander have edited a collection that advances this debate significantly and which will be viewed as a vital reference point for all future research in the area.’ Gavin Dingwall, De Montfort University, UK ’In international criminal law, defences derive conceptually from municipal orders which perform their doctrinal basis. Thorough and structured, the discussion of national approaches to defences in this book provides a tool for discussing individual responsibility under international criminal law; particularly useful in jurisdictions which, due to temporal or other concerns, operate outside the normative system of the Rome Statute.’ HE Judge Agnieszka Klonowiecka-Milart, International Judge, Supreme Court, Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia