Complicity

Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality, Eds. Marija Jankovic, Kirk Ludwig. Routledge University Press, 2017

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-316

18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2017 Last revised: 12 Dec 2017

See all articles by Saba Bazargan-Forward

Saba Bazargan-Forward

UC San Diego; University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Complicity marks out a way that one person can be liable to sanctions for the wrongful conduct of another. After describing the concept and role of complicity in the law, I argue that much of the motivation for presenting complicity as a separate basis of criminal liability is misplaced; paradigmatic cases of complicity can be assimilated into standard causation-based accounts of criminal liability. But unlike others who make this sort of claim I argue that there is still room for genuine complicity in the law and in morality. In defending this claim, I sketch an approach to complicity which grounds our liability for what others do not in our causal relation to their actions but in our “agency-relations” with others. In such cases, one agent can be liable for the wrongs of second agent to the extent that first authorizes the second to act at her behest. This approach fills the gap where standard causation-based accounts of complicity fail – especially in where several agents cooperatively contribute to an overdetermined harm.

Keywords: complicity, criminal law, liability, culpability, collective responsibility, proxy, authority, overdetermination, over-determination

Suggested Citation

Bazargan-Forward, Saba, Complicity (2017). Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality, Eds. Marija Jankovic, Kirk Ludwig. Routledge University Press, 2017; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-316. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075602

Saba Bazargan-Forward (Contact Author)

UC San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0119
United States

HOME PAGE: http://philosophy.ucsd.edu/people/faculty-sites/sbazargan.html

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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