Comparative Concepts of Criminal Law is unique in the sense that it introduces the reader to the fundamental concepts and rules of substantive criminal law in a comparative way and not just to the criminal law system of one specific jurisdiction. Compared with other fields of law, like contract and property law, comparative research into the so-called general part of criminal law is quite a recent phenomenon within academia. The increasing Europeanisation of criminal law and policy makes such a comparative approach even more necessary.
This handbook therefore fills a legal educational gap by exploring basic concepts of substantive criminal law in three major European legal systems: the common law system of England and Wales and the civil law systems of Germany and the Netherlands. Each chapter focuses on a specific concept or doctrine that is necessary to determine criminal liability (e.g. actus reus, mens rea, defences, inchoate offences). Throughout the book the authors also highlight and discuss some recent legislative and judicial developments that broaden the scope of criminal liability in our modern culture of control.