Oblique intent

Why the name? Well criminal law afficionados will recognise the phrase 'oblique intent' as referring to a problem of mens rea:can a person who intends to do x (such as setting fire to a building to scare the occupants) also be said to have an intention to kill if one of the occupants dies? This is a problem that has consumed an inordinate amount of time in the appeal courts and in the legal journals, and can be taken to represent a certain kind of approach to legal theory. My approach is intended to be more oblique to this mainstream approach, and thus to raise different kinds of questions and issues. Hence the name.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

On the Oscar Pistorius trial

I expect that we will be hearing a lot about the Oscar Pistorius trial over the coming weeks, but I doubt I will read anything better than this, by Margie Orford - a perfect explanation of how doctrines like self defence require a context in which they make sense.

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