Fair Labelling in Criminal Law

James Chalmers, Fiona Leverick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


‘Fair labelling’ has become common currency in criminal law scholarship over recent decades, but the principle's scope and justification has never been analysed in detail. Basic questions remain unanswered, such as the intended audience for these labels and whether they assume the same importance in respect of both offences and defences. This article traces the intellectual history of the principle and examines its possible justifications in respect of offence labelling, noting that labelling is important in two distinct senses: that of description, and that of differentiation. It goes on to sketch out some considerations which are of importance in the principle's application, before concluding with a discussion of its applicability to defences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-46
Number of pages29
JournalModern Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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