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The Constitution of the Criminal Law$
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R.A. Duff, Lindsay Farmer, S.E. Marshall, Massimo Renzo, and Victor Tadros

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673872.001.0001

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Responsibility and Answerability in the Criminal Law

Responsibility and Answerability in the Criminal Law

Chapter:
(p.209) 10 Responsibility and Answerability in the Criminal Law
Source:
The Constitution of the Criminal Law
Author(s):

Massimo Renzo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673872.003.0010

This chapter addresses the problem of how we should understand the distinction between domestic and international crimes. Drawing upon recent developments in the literature on moral and criminal responsibility, it focuses particularly on the idea that responsibility should be understood in terms of answerability, i.e., in terms of the reasons offered by the agent in order to justify her conduct. The chapter is organized as follows. Section II provides an account of the distinction between wrongs for which we are answerable to the domestic political community and wrongs for which we are answerable to the whole of humanity. Section III employs this account to revise the way in which the distinction between domestic and international crimes is currently drawn. It argues that any violations of basic human rights, including those that are not committed in the context of an armed conflict or as part of a wider attack against a civilian population, constitute wrongs for which we are answerable to the whole of humanity, and therefore trigger international criminal responsibility. Sections III and IV consider and answer two main objections that can be moved against the proposed view. Section V compares the relational account with the one defended by Duff and argues that the former provides a more convincing explanation of a crucial distinction that Duff himself intends to draw.

Keywords:   domestic crime, international crime, criminal responsibility, human rights, Duff

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