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Criminal Law

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Criminal liability

1994

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A Functional Analysis Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson Jan 1994

A Functional Analysis Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

The criminal law has three primary functions. First, it must define and announce the conduct that is prohibited (or required) by the criminal law. Such rules of conduct, as they have been called, provide ex ante direction to members of the community as to the conduct that must be avoided (or that must be performed) upon pain of criminal sanction. This may be termed the rule articulation function of the doctrine. When a violation of the rules of conduct occurs, the criminal law takes on a different role. It must decide whether the violation merits criminal liability. This second function, …