Show Summary Details
Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law (3rd edn)

John Child and David Ormerod QC
Page of

Printed from Oxford Law Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 September 2022

p. 57014. General defenceslocked

p. 57014. General defenceslocked

  • John ChildJohn ChildSenior Lecturer in Criminal Law, Birmingham Law School
  •  and David OrmerodDavid OrmerodLaw Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor of Criminal Justice at University College London

Abstract

This chapter deals with general complete defences that the accused can use to avoid liability. The focus is on defences that can apply (with one exception) to offences throughout the criminal law and will result in the accused’s acquittal. Five kinds of general complete defences are examined: insanity (as a defence), duress by threats, duress by circumstances, the public and private defence (also known as self-defence), and necessity. The chapter first considers the categorical division between excuses and justifications, before explaining the elements of each of the defences in turn. It then outlines potential options for legal reform concerning individual defences and concludes by discussing the application of the general defences to problem facts. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription