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Lawyers, Legislators and TheoristsDevelopments in English Criminal Jurisprudence 1800-1957$
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K. J. M. Smith

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198257233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198257233.001.0001

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Attempt: Contracting Consequentialism—Expanding the Notion of Criminal Harm?

Attempt: Contracting Consequentialism—Expanding the Notion of Criminal Harm?

(p.263) 8 Attempt: Contracting Consequentialism—Expanding the Notion of Criminal Harm?
Lawyers, Legislators and Theorists

K. J. M. Smith

Oxford University Press

The first third of the nineteenth century saw little conceptual development beyond the firm acceptance of attempt as a general form of liability, available as a supplemental line of action against miscreants whose behaviour was not caught in the extensive net of highly act-specific statutory attempt crimes. At this stage little speculative interest emerged in the doctrinal significance, rationale, and potential practical difficulties of application of this, effectively, new general form of liability. The remainder of the nineteenth century witnessed a very gradual, fragmentary, and faltering recognition of some of these issues, most central of which was that of proximity: just how far an actor needed to progress towards his criminal objective before crossing liability's threshold.

Keywords:   criminal law, proximity, liability

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