Relations of Responsibility

27 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011

See all articles by John Gardner

John Gardner

University of Oxford (deceased)

Date Written: May 2011


This draft contrbution to a fothcoming Festschrift for Antony Duff challenges his justly famous account according to which criminal responsibilty is doubly relational. It is relational in the sense that it is owed to someone; it is also relational in the sense that an existing relationship (citizen-country, guest-host, etc.) figures in justifying its being owed to that someone. I discuss the connection, in Duff's writings, between these views about responsibility and someof his views about authority. I suggest that, even according to Duff in less guarded moments, the normal justification for authority, and hence for criminal responsibility, is non-relational.

Keywords: Responsibility, authority, criminal law, citizenship, Antony Duff, Joseph Raz

Suggested Citation

Gardner, John, Relations of Responsibility (May 2011). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15/2011 . Available at SSRN: or

John Gardner (Contact Author)

University of Oxford (deceased)

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