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Culpable Carelessness
Recklessness and Negligence in the Criminal Law

  • Publication planned for: August 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108465120

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  • The question of when a person is culpable for taking an unjustified risk of harm has long been controversial in Anglo-American criminal law doctrine and theory. This survey of the approaches adopted in England and Wales, Canada, Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Scotland argues that they are converging, to differing extents, around a 'Standard Account' of culpable unjustified risk-taking. This Standard Account distinguishes between awareness-based culpability (recklessness) and inadvertence-based culpability (negligence) for unjustified risk-taking. With reference to criminal law theory and philosophical literature, the author argues that, when explained appropriately, the Standard Account is defensible and practical. Defending the Standard Account involves analysing in depth a number of controversial matters, including the meaning of advertence/awareness, the role of attitudes such as indifference in culpable risk-taking, and the question of whether negligence should be used in the criminal law.

    • Provides the first comparative study of culpable risk-taking in Anglo-American criminal law
    • Examines unjustified risk-taking from a theoretical perspective
    • Draws extensively on hitherto under-used philosophical materials to advance the theoretical debate on culpable unjustified risk-taking
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Findlay Stark's book on the culpability of recklessness and negligence is rigorous, thorough and thought provoking. It is persuasively argued, and engages in stimulating ways with both criminal law theory and caselaw … the book offers valuable and original contributions throughout, which will make it a rewarding read for criminal law scholars and practitioners alike.' Alexander Sarch, Criminal Law and Philosophy

    'Findlay Stark's book is a major contribution to the study of legal understandings of recklessness and negligence. It provides new insights into these concepts, but does so in a way which is focussed on the difficulties facing judges in these cases. It is beautifully written and clearly argued: academic scholarship at its best.' Jon Herring, Law Quarterly Review

    'Culpable Carelessness is an excellent piece of work: it is learned and persuasive, and adds much value to the literature. It is now the essential point of reference on recklessness and negligence in the common law tradition, and it deserves a befittingly wide readership.' Andrew Cornford, Criminal Law Review

    'Culpable Carelessness by Findlay Stark is a careful and considered contribution to the 'punishment for negligence' debate. As well as providing a comprehensive overview of the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of recklessness and negligence in the criminal law, it also offers novel insights for scholars already steeped in these debates. An additional methodological strength is that Stark takes seriously the connection between theory and law, offering useful potential jury instructions on recklessness and negligence.' Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Modern Law Review

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108465120
    • length: 349 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The doctrinal trend towards the Standard Account
    3. Consistency in definition
    4. From awareness to belief
    5. Beyond belief: knowledge and awareness of risk
    6. The significance of awareness of risk
    7. Culpability beyond awareness of risk - some existing accounts
    8. Negligence as failure of belief
    9. Some practicalities.

  • Author

    Findlay Stark, University of Cambridge
    Findlay Stark is University Lecturer in Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. His research and teaching centres around various aspects of criminal law, criminal procedure and criminal evidence.

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