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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the various ways in which the law regulates lies and other forms of deception. In the case of offenses such as perjury, fraud, and rape by deception, it takes a hard line, subjecting offenders to serious criminal sanctions. With respect to deception used by the police (during interrogations) and lawyers (in litigation), the law is more tolerant. And lies told by the media and by political candidates are sometimes regarded as constitutionally protected and therefore beyond the scope of permissible legal regulation entirely. The main point is that the law’s treatment of deception varies significantly depending on the role of the person deceiving (e.g., private individuals versus government officials), the social context in which the deception occurs (e.g., courtrooms, the marketplace, police stations, and sexual encounters), the harms the deception is believed to cause, and the chilling effect its regulation might entail.

Keywords: lying, deceiving, perjury, fraud, rape by deception, police interrogations, legal ethics, regulation of media and political campaigns, chilling effect

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