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Criminal Law

Criminal Law (16th edn)

Michael Allen and Ian Edwards
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date: 18 July 2024

p. 3108. Inchoate offenceslocked

p. 3108. Inchoate offenceslocked

  • Michael J. Allen
  •  and Ian Edwards


Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. This chapter discusses inchoate crimes. A person does not break the criminal law simply by having evil thoughts. Where, however, a person takes steps towards effecting that plan to commit a substantive offence which is more than merely preparatory, he may in the process commit one of the inchoate crimes of attempt, conspiracy, or encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence. The chapter examines relevant offences in the Serious Crime Act 2007 concerning encouraging or assisting and the Act’s abolition of the offence of incitement. It outlines the legal protection from prosecution provided to particular vulnerable victims who might otherwise be liable for encouraging others to commit offences against them, such as some child victims of sexual offences. The chapter analyses the statutory offence of conspiracy and outlines common law offences of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to corrupt public morals or to outrage public decency. It examines the requirements for liability for attempt. ‘The law in context’ feature in this chapter examines critically the growing range of inchoate offences for terrorist offences.

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