Comparative Concepts of Criminal Law is unique in the sense that it introduces the reader to the fundamental concepts and rules of substantive criminal law in a comparative way and not just to the criminal law system of one specific jurisdiction. Compared with other fields of law, like contract and property law, comparative research into the so-called general part of criminal law is quite a recent phenomenon within academia. The increasing ‘Europeanisation’ of criminal law and policy makes such a comparative approach even more necessary.
This handbook therefore fills a legal educational gap by exploring basic concepts of substantive criminal law in three major European legal systems: the common law system of England and Wales and the civil law systems of Germany and the Netherlands. Each chapter focuses on a specific concept or doctrine that is necessary to determine criminal liability (e.g. actus reus, mens rea, defences, inchoate offences). Throughout the book the authors also highlight and discuss some recent legislative and judicial developments that broaden the scope of criminal liability in our modern culture of control.
This book is not only invaluable for students, but also for legal practitioners who want to broaden their knowledge of criminal law.
‘[…] this textbook is highly recommended. It is unique in its concentration on comparative criminal law in three jurisdictions – England, Germany and the Netherlands. This enables study of and presentation of the relevant matters in depth, while still open for widening the comparative view beyond these territories where appropriate. The authors prove themselves throughout as remarkably knowledgeable in the various laws and the high level of their argumentation is impressive. Primarily the book is addressed to students, and this aim is pursued in a concise and understandable manner. Moreover, academics, lawyers and anybody else interested in the similarities and differences of the general substantive elements of criminal liability in these countries can also gain valuable information from this well-written book. It is not a surprise that a second edition was released within a year.’
Albin Eser in 23 Maastricht Journal (2016) 375
On the first edition:
‘Comparative Concepts of Criminal Law as a super, short handbook fills the legal educational gap we still have in jurisprudence with an exploration of the basic concepts of substantive criminal law in three major European legal systems: the common law system of England and Wales and the civil law systems of Germany and the Netherlands. In essence it has a handy continental approach which fits nicely into modern legal teaching to give the subject some rounded perspective.’
Elizabeth Taylor and Philip Taylor (MBE), Richmond Green Chambers
Introduction (p. 1)
Chapter I. Theories of Punishment (p. 11)
Chapter II. The Principle of Legality (p. 35)
Chapter III. Actus Reus and Mens Rea: The Elements of Crime and the Framework of Criminal Liability (p. 57)
Chapter IV. Commission versus Omission (p. 71)
Chapter V. Causation (p. 103)
Chapter VI. Forms and Aspects of Mens Rea (p. 127)
Chapter VII. Justifications and Excuses (p. 157)
Chapter VIII. Inchoate Offences: Attempt and Preparation (p. 203)
Chapter IX. Forms of Participation (p. 235)
Chapter X. Corporate Criminal Liability (p. 281)