This course covers selected topics in substantive criminal law: principles underlying the definition of crime such as the requirements of actus reus and mens rea and general doctrines such as ignorance of fact and ignorance of law, causation, attempt, complicity and conspiracy. Principles of justification and excuse are examined with particular attention to the doctrines of necessity, intoxication, insanity, diminished capacity and automatism. The substantive offense of homicide is extensively reviewed, and from time to time other offenses such as theft. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the basic theory of the criminal law and the relationship between doctrines and the various justifications for imposition of punishment.
Criminal Law I