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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines insanity and intoxication as forms of defense to avoid punishment. It begins with a brief overview of the theoretical foundations, the systematic framework, the historic development, the relation to other “defenses,” and the analytical structure. The acceptance of “capability of crime” or “moral culpability” as a criterion in criminal law is given consideration, along with the dilemma of determinism that arises from the culpability approach. Attention then turns to the question of mental fitness in relation to procedural law or substantive law at different stages of the criminal process. The chapter also discusses the distinction between the common law and continental law of insanity, the relation of insanity to other grounds for excluding criminal liability, and mental disorders that can be used for an insanity defense. Finally, it outlines the legal consequences of the “defense” approach that invokes insanity and intoxication.

Keywords: insanity, intoxication, defense, punishment, capability of crime, moral culpability, criminal law, mental fitness, criminal liability, mental disorders

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