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Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity$
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Will Kymlicka, Claes Lernestedt, and Matt Matravers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676590.001.0001

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Responsibility, Morality, and Culture

Responsibility, Morality, and Culture

(p.89) 5 Responsibility, Morality, and Culture
Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity

Matt Matravers

Oxford University Press

In the criminal law, responsibility is best understood in terms of answerability. For a person to be answerable, s/he must be capable of responding to, and acting on, reasons. Certain conditions must also be fulfilled for a specific society to have a right to hold the person answerable. Specifically, the society must have (moral) standing. The chapter considers both these sets of conditions and the ways in which accounts of the cultural defense interact with them. It argues that these accounts identify real issues that need to be addressed, but that the significant influence of culture on individuals in most cases neither undermines the responsibility of the agent nor the standing of the state to hold that agent to account.

Keywords:   answerability, criminal law, cultural defense, multiculturalism, responsibility

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