Recklessness: Awareness, Indifference or Belief

(2007) 31 Criminal Law Journal 272

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2014-10

15 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2014

See all articles by Adam Webster

Adam Webster

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: March 16, 2014

Abstract

Defining recklessness in criminal law has proved to be a great challenge for courts, legislatures and legal theorists. Currently, the mental element of recklessness encompasses several disparate states of mind and is defined differently in the offense of rape. However, it is desirable to have a single definition of recklessness which encapsulates all states of mind previously identified and is applicable to all offenses. This article investigates whether reformulating the definition of recklessness in terms of the accused’s attitude or belief satisfies these criteria. It concludes that the current formulation of the subjective element of the definition of recklessness must be maintained.

Keywords: criminal law, recklessness, indifference, belief’, mental element, intention, negligence, rape

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Webster, Adam, Recklessness: Awareness, Indifference or Belief (March 16, 2014). (2007) 31 Criminal Law Journal 272; U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2014-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2410000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2410000

Adam Webster (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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