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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines offenses against the person in the context of criminal law. It begins with an overview of the offense of assault and closely related offenses before turning to offenses which are more directly concerned with personal liberty than bodily integrity. It then considers the legal definition of assault, how it differs from battery, and the related elements of fear and threat. It also deals with some of the key factors which have been taken into account in delineating the seriousness of assault-type offenses, including the seriousness of the harm caused and the accused’s mens rea. Attention shifts to torture and other offenses of international concern, the extent to which an individual’s consent to assault should provide a defense, harm without assault, specific harm-causing offenses, endangerment, and child neglect. The chapter concludes by discussing interferences with liberty, such as kidnapping and the related crimes of stalking and forced marriage.

Keywords: offenses against the person, criminal law, assault, personal liberty, bodily integrity, battery, harm, mens rea, torture, consent

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