, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 309-312
Date: 20 Sep 2008

R. A. Duff and Stuart Green (eds), Defining Crimes: Essays on the Special Part of the Criminal Law

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Defining Crimes concerns the so-called special part of the criminal law. As R. A. Duff and Stuart Green note in their Introduction, the special part of the criminal law has been somewhat neglected by legal theorists. This volume represents a timely and valuable attempt to address this neglect and, as the editors suggest, it demonstrates the ‘philosophical indispensability of the special part to any adequate analytical or normative study of the criminal law’ (p. 2). This edited collection may be regarded as a complement to existing philosophical collections on the general part of the criminal law (see, for example, Duff 1998; Shute and Simester 2002).

In introducing the essays comprising this volume, the editors discuss the scope and definition of the special part of the criminal law. Duff and Green acknowledge that there is no generally agreed upon distinction between the special part and the general part, or consensus about which aspects of the criminal law belong to each part or even ...