Deliberation, Responsibility, and Excusing Mistakes of Law
Jurisprudence (2014, Forthcoming)
11 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 29 Aug 2014
Date Written: April 1, 2011
This paper argues against Gideon Yaffe’s defense of the doctrine that mistakes of law should not excuse offered in his paper "Excusing Mistakes of Law." I question Yaffe's strategy for defending the distinction drawn between excuses based on mistakes of law and excuses based on mistakes of fact. In particular, I question whether Yaffe's reliance on the notion of deliberation can do the work he suggests it can in providing a normative defense for the fact that "false beliefs about non-legal facts often excuse, but false beliefs about the law rarely excuse."
Keywords: mistake of fact, mistake of law, deliberation, responsibility, criminal law
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