Six Senses of Strict Liability: A Plea for Formalism
This chapter has three goals: first is to survey the various meanings that have been ascribed to the term ‘strict liability’; secondly, to show why such proliferation of meanings leads to conceptual confusion; and thirdly, to recommend a particular, ‘formal’ sense of strict liability as the meaning that should be preferred. What is ultimately at stake here is more than just a point about terminological clarity. By exposing the inadequacy of the language used to describe the problem of moral deficiency in criminal law, the chapter shows not only the complexity of the problem but also, ultimately, to point the way to its possible solution.
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