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Importance of a theory of Criminal Law Without a theory, without an understanding of what distinguishes crime from other forms of wrongful and troublesome conduct, we cannot understand or make sense of the notion of crime. A theory of criminal law provides us with a logical and reasonable definition of crime. On Jerome Hall’s Theory of Criminal Law What makes crime different from other forms of rule violation? Can we identify the components (elements) that constitute this distinction? Hall stresses Legality and Conduct Then focuses on Harm and Intent He recognizes the role of Punishment and points to some important linkages ( Causality and Concurrence ). The first logical requirement for an understanding of crime is The existence of a law that prohibits (or requires) some specific conduct. This is the legality requirement. Logic also requires that the law be in existence before the conduct.
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