Criminal Negligence and the Standard of Care

16 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2007

See all articles by Victor V. Ramraj

Victor V. Ramraj

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law


Negligence is a conceptually problematic mode of liability in the criminal law. In cases of negligence, the accused acts inadvertently; that is, the accused is not subjectively aware of the unjustified risk that is created by his or her conduct. As such, some have argued that the accused is not blameworthy, and thus that negligence is never an appropriate basis for criminal liability. But even if, as others have argued, criminal negligence can in certain circumstances be justified as an appropriate basis for imposing criminal liability either for utilitarian or deontological reasons, other questions arise. First, we need to know what the parameters of criminally negligent liability are so as to be able to distinguish criminal negligence from other modes of liability that bear some resemblance to negligence, such as recklessness (or rashness) and strict liability. Second, we need to know what the standard of care should be in offences of criminal negligence.

Suggested Citation

Ramraj, Victor Vridar, Criminal Negligence and the Standard of Care. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 678-693, 1999 , Available at SSRN:

Victor Vridar Ramraj (Contact Author)

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 1700 STN CSC
McGill at Ring Rds (Fraser Bldg)
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2Y2

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