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Act and CrimeThe Philosophy of Action and its Implications for Criminal Law$
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Michael S. Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599509.001.0001

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The Normative Basis for the Actus Reus Requirement

The Normative Basis for the Actus Reus Requirement

Chapter:
(p.239) 9 The Normative Basis for the Actus Reus Requirement
Source:
Act and Crime
Author(s):

Michael S. Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599509.003.0009

The normative justifications for the actus reus requirement are usually gathered under one rubric, the so-called ‘principle of legality.’ ‘The’ principle is in reality an amalgam of nine legal doctrines overlappingly justified by four different values (fairness, equality, liberty, and democracy). These values collectively justify limiting punishments to acts clearly prescribed in advance by criminal legislation. They only provide a limited justification for why retributive justice is served by observing the formalities demanded by the principle.

Keywords:   actus reus, legality, notice, retroactivity, fairness, liberty

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