Ignorance as a Legal Excuse

Perspectives on Ignorance from Moral and Social Philosophy. Edited by Rik Peels. pp. 205-216, 2017

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-288

16 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017

See all articles by Larry Alexander

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

In this chapter, I examine the forms of ignorance that defeat and sometimes create legal liability. Although my focus is primarily on the treatment of ignorance in the criminal law, I mention in passing the role of ignorance in torts, breaches of contract, and other civil lawsuits. Moreover, although my principal focus is on ignorance as a defeater of liability, I discuss as well how ignorance can operate to incriminate.

Keywords: Criminal Law, Exculpatory Ignorance, Mens Rea

JEL Classification: A00, A10, K10

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Lawrence, Ignorance as a Legal Excuse (2017). Perspectives on Ignorance from Moral and Social Philosophy. Edited by Rik Peels. pp. 205-216, 2017; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-288. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985701 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2985701

Lawrence Alexander (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)

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