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National Criminal Law in a Comparative Legal Context. Vol. 3.1

Defining criminal conduct: Concept and systematization of the criminal offense – Objective aspects of the offence – Subjective aspects of the offense. Australia, Bosnia and Herz., Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA

2011. Abb.; XVIII, 519 S.
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46,00 €
ISBN 978-3-428-13829-6
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This publication is part of the International Max Planck Information System for Comparative Criminal Law, a project at the heart of the comparative legal research of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg/Germany. A primary objective of this project is to develop a universal meta-structure of criminal law that can serve as the basis for the organization of material, enable systematic comparisons, and further the development of an international criminal law doctrine. This meta-structure is also a prerequisite for analyzing the various approaches taken around the world to shared criminal law-related problems, identifying general legal principles, and drafting international model codes. A second goal of the project is to provide global access by means of a computer-based expert system to data from the participating legal systems in the form of country reports organized on the basis of the aforementioned universal meta-structure.

Towards these ends, a pilot project was carried out to analyze, structure, and present the General Part of the criminal law in twelve legal systems. The results were published in five volumes from 2008 to 2010 (in German). In the meantime, the number of legal systems included in the study has grown considerably, with the help of contributions from researchers at the Max Planck Institute as well as from external research partners. First fruits of this expansion are presented here, with the publication of reports from an additional eleven countries: Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the United States of America.


A. Principle of legality (nullum crimen sine lege)

1. General issues

2. Treatment and scope of principle of legality in the law: Location and text of treatment – Scope of principle

3. Elements of the principle of legality: Formal requirements: nullum crimen sine lege scripta – Requirement of reasonable clarity: nullum crimen sine lege certa – Limits on interpretation: nullum crimen sine lege stricta – Retroactive application of criminal provisions/judgments: nullum crimen sine lege praevia

B. Extraterritorial jurisdiction – the applicability of domestic criminal law to activities committed abroad

1. General issues: Scope of protection provided by domestic criminal offenses – Location within legal system where applicability of domestic criminal law abroad is treated – Overview of the major principles governing the exercise of jurisdiction – Taking foreign legal norms into account – Taking foreign criminal judgments into account

2. Principle of territoriality: General issues – Concept of locus of commission / locus delicti commissi – Territory of states (definition) – Extension by flag principle »territoire flottant«

3. Protective principle: General issues – Protection of the state – Passive personality principle

4. Active personality (nationality) principle: General issues – Legitimacy – Extension by principle of domicile

5. Universality principle

6. Representation principle

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