Provocation and Responsibility

Provocation and Responsibility

Provocation and Responsibility

Provocation and Responsibility

Synopsis

Little has been written by lawyers about the effect of provocation on culpability for homicide in English law, yet the question of what our moral attitudes should be towards someone who kills or injures another in anger has been a source of lively debate for centuries. The first philosophical inquiry into the moral character of actions in anger, it seeks to resolve the philosophical controversies generated by setting them in the context of an examination of the place of anger in human nature throughout history. A previously unexplored area of research, this work breaks new ground in its use of historical and philosophical sources not normally linked with criminal law, providing a colorful and fascinating history of the plea of provocation as a defense to murder in England.

Excerpt

For at least the last fifty years, the doctrine of provocation has been a constant source of controversy in English criminal law. Should it operate only as a qualified defence to murder? How widely or narrowly should it be defined? In this monograph Dr. Jeremy Horder takes a much broader sweep, adopting an original approach which draws on historical, philosophical and legal material. Neglected concepts such as honour and anger are explored, and familiar concepts such as 'loss of self-control' are reexamined. There are penetrating criticisms of several aspects of the modern law, some which are already the subject of controversy, others which clearly should be. This book amply fulfils the purpose of the Series by constructing fresh arguments and mounting new challenges to key elements in this socially sensitive and symbolic sphere of criminal law.

Andrew Ashworth . . .

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