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Liability for somebody else's crime

Video discussing accessory and accomplice liability and joint enterprise.

The basic structure of the criminal law envisages individuals bearing responsibility for their own conduct. If I act voluntarily, and in breach of the criminal law, I am responsible for my acts and I will be criminally liable for my conduct. But what of the person who encourages me, or who helps me? Consider the person who encourages me to steal from the shop, or the person who gives me the ladder to help with the burglary. How should the criminal law deal with those people?

In this video I discuss the issue of how the the law should respond to situations where more than one person is involved. Although I don’t use the actual phrase, I engage with so-called ‘joint enterprise’ situations, where parties agree to commit a particular offence, but one of them also goes on to commit further offence, which may or may not have been predicted by the others.

When you are watching the video, try to think about what the implications of these issues might be for Joe.

Think back to what you know about Joe’s story so far. How should the law deal with his role in the incident in town?

Discuss your thoughts with your colleagues.

This article is from the free online

From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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