Journal of Criminal Law, The

Publisher:
Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
2021-08-12
ISBN:
0022-0183

Latest documents

  • The Criminal Court of Appeal's Stale Approach to Fresh Evidence
  • Local Authority Prosecutions: When the General Power to Prosecute Gives way to a Specific Power
  • The Forensic Ethics of Scientific Communication

    An important part of the work of forensic scientists is communicating accurate information to lay factfinders under conditions of uncertainty. It is an ethically demanding role as it obliges scientists to disclose information that may call their own authority into question. Similar issues arise in other areas of applied science, for example climate science. This article builds the ethical framework for scientific communication under uncertainty proposed by Keohane, Lane and Oppenheimer and argues that with some modifications their work provides useful guidance for forensic scientists. It also questions whether the current system of Streamlined Forensic Reporting is compatible with that framework.

  • A Critical Analysis of the Law Commission's Proposed Cyberflashing Offence

    The Law Commission has proposed a new offence of cyberflashing to combat the problem of sending unsolicited images or videos of human genitals to others. It seems that what the Law Commission has in mind is not flashing per se, but cyber-nudity. Its proposal fails to comprehensively evaluate the adequacy of existing law and fails to balance the harm of a criminal conviction against the potential harm of cyberflashing. It shall be argued that the Law Commission seems to have conflated wrong with harm and that its harm claim is supported only by anecdotal evidence. The vast majority of cyberflashing cases, including most Airdropping and Bluetoothing cases, are already covered by existing law, leaving untouched only a handful of one-off Airdropping or Bluetoothing cases where the flasher did not intend to cause distress or anxiety and the victim did not apprehend imminent unlawful force. Thus, it is argued that this very narrowly tailored cyberflashing offence adds very little and that amending existing communication offences or harassment offences would provide more protection to victims as such offences could apply to a wide range of sexually harassing content, not just images or videos of human genitals.

  • Either-way Until Proven Otherwise: Determining When Shoplifting is ‘Low Value’
  • Rethinking Causation in English Criminal Law

    This article challenges English criminal law's approach to causation. In doing so, it proposes replacing the standard tests of causation with a single test, known as ‘INUS’ causation – where a cause is an insufficient but necessary part of an unnecessary but sufficient condition. It argues that the standard tests represent a normative exercise in finding the defendant (D) responsible for a prohibited outcome, often grounded only in D's moral responsibility for that outcome. This approach is problematic because moral responsibility is irrelevant to causal responsibility; and not distinguishing causal responsibility from moral responsibility results in inappropriate criminal-responsibility ascription for result crimes. INUS would provide a single, non-normative test of causation; a metaphysical one that offers a robust causal enquiry that focuses only on causal responsibility, which contributes appropriately to criminal-responsibility ascription. INUS would also yield practical benefits. It would be able to engage with causal enquires in a broader range of cases on a more principled, clear and consistent basis.

  • Criminal Damage: The ‘Colston Four’, Proportionality and the Concerns that Linger
  • The Criminal Court of Appeal's Stale Approach to Fresh Evidence
  • Either-way Until Proven Otherwise: Determining When Shoplifting is ‘Low Value’
  • The Forensic Ethics of Scientific Communication

    An important part of the work of forensic scientists is communicating accurate information to lay factfinders under conditions of uncertainty. It is an ethically demanding role as it obliges scientists to disclose information that may call their own authority into question. Similar issues arise in other areas of applied science, for example climate science. This article builds the ethical framework for scientific communication under uncertainty proposed by Keohane, Lane and Oppenheimer and argues that with some modifications their work provides useful guidance for forensic scientists. It also questions whether the current system of Streamlined Forensic Reporting is compatible with that framework.

Featured documents

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