By the same authors

Responsibility, Morality, and Culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationCriminal Law and Cultural Diversity
DatePublished - 2014
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationOxford
EditorsWill Kymlicka, Claes Lernested, Matt Matravers
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-0199676590


In the criminal law, responsibility is best understood in terms of answerability. For a person to be answerable, s/he must be capable of responding to, and acting on, reasons. Certain conditions must also be fulfilled for a specific society to have a right to hold the person answerable. Specifically, the society must have (moral) standing. The chapter considers both these sets of conditions and the ways in which accounts of the cultural defence interact with them. It argues that these accounts identify real issues that need to be addressed, but that the significant influence of culture on individuals in most cases neither undermines the responsibility of the agent nor the standing of the state to hold that agent to account.

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