Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics - Liability

Strict Liability


Criminal liability without fault (that is, without the need to prove intent or gross negligence on the part of the defendant) has been considered unfair by many academic commentators, yet is utilised extensively in Anglo-American law, and to a limited extent in Continental law. However, the reasons for its unfairness - and the possibility of exceptions where strict liability might be more acceptable - have so far not received extensive examination.

A further completed project of the Centre has undertaken such an examination. A discussion colloquium was held on the subject at Cambridge in May 2002; a second meeting, reviewing and discussing papers, was held in 2003. Authors or co-authors include Antony Duff, John Gardner, Stuart Green, Jeremy Horder, Douglas Husak, Alan Michaels, Antje Pedain, Paul Roberts, John Spencer, G.R. Sullivan, and Andrew Simester. The resulting book has been published by Oxford University Press under the title; A.P. Simester (ed), Appraising Strict Liability (2005).