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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the concepts of necessity and duress in criminal law. It discusses the phenomenology of necessity situations, the legal assessment of the necessity action, and the possible arguments to support a justification of the necessity action. It also outlines the criteria for deciding individual disputed questions in the doctrine of justifying and excusing. The distinction between duress (or “duress by threats,” “coercive necessity”) and necessity (or “duress of circumstances”) is given consideration, along with the question of whether an emergency should be a reason to withhold punishment. Finally, the chapter elaborates on the principles that can be applied to justify necessity; namely, utilitarianism, solidarity principle, and the loyalty principle.

Keywords: necessity, duress, criminal law, justification, emergency, punishment, utilitarianism, solidarity principle, loyalty principle

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