The Logic of Consent: The Diversity and Deceptiveness of Consent as a Defense to Criminal Conduct, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Logic of Consent

The Diversity and Deceptiveness of Consent as a Defense to Criminal Conduct, 1st Edition

By Peter Westen


392 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138270763
pub: 2016-11-17
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780754624073
pub: 2004-06-04
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315238586
pub: 2017-03-02
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Logic of Consent analyzes the varied nature of consent arguments in criminal law and examines the confusions that commonly arise from the failure of legislatures, courts and commentators to understand them. Peter Westen skillfully argues that the conceptual aspect accounts for a significant number of the difficulties that legislatures, courts and scholars have with consent in criminal cases; he observes that consent masquerades as a single kind of event when, in reality, it refers to diverse and sometimes mutually exclusive kinds of events. Specifically, consent is used in law to refer to three pairs of contrasting kinds of events: factual versus legal, attitudinal versus expressive, and prescriptive versus imputed. While Westen takes no position on whether the substance of existing defenses of consent in criminal law ought to be enlarged or reduced in scope, he examines each of these contrasting events and analyzes the normative confusions they produce.


'Peter Westen has taken on one of the most difficult conceptual and practical problems in the law: If consent can change a prohibited act into a permitted one, what is consent's nature, how is consent manifested, and what conditions make its legal effectiveness possible and impossible? Anyone who is interested in the many issues to which consent is relevant, and particularly the law of rape, should read this extremely well argued, comprehensive, and readable book.' Professor Larry Alexander, University of San Diego School of Law, USA 'Peter Westen provides an admirably thorough and careful analysis of the different things that "consent" can mean, both within and outside the law - an analysis that is interesting in its own right, but also crucial if we are to avoid the confusions into which, as he shows, courts and theorists have so often fallen, and reach a better understanding of what "consent" should mean in the different legal contexts in which it matters.' Professor Antony Duff, University of Stirling, UK 'The Logic of Consent is both substantively and stylistically a welcome addition…postgraduate students in law, society and gender studies, as well as law professors and pracatitioners, will find The Logic of Consent an excellent source for discussion.' The Law and Politics Book Review 'Peter Westen's The Logic of Consent is nothing short of a tour de force…a sumptuous read, its pages brimming with lively cases, colorful examples, and crisp analytic moves that reveal entrenched doctinal confusions. One finishes it with a sense of breathlessness, as though one has finally come to a halt after the professional analogue of an arduous hike through tremendously interesting terrain. I recommend this hike to all who enjoy rigorous intellectual workouts in areas fraught with conceptual obstacles and rich in normative and doctinal significance.' Michigan Law Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Factual Consent: Introduction; A core conception of consent: an attitude of factual acquiescence; An expression of factual acquiescence. Legal Consent: Introduction; Offenses to which consent is a defense; Prescriptive consent: an attitude or an expression?; Prescriptive attitudinal consent; Non-contemporaneous prescriptive consent; Imputed consent. The Consequences of Conceptual Complexity: Introduction; The confusions of consent; Conclusion; Bibliography, Index of cases; Index.

About the Author

Peter Westen is Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, USA.

About the Series

Law, Justice and Power

Law, Justice and Power
To speak about law is always and necessarily to be engaged in a discourse about both justice and power. While law's relationship to justice is everywhere contingent and uncertain, law completely divorced from power is unthinkable. And, while law need not be virtuous to be law, if it had no effect in the world it could hardly be said to merit the name law. Recognizing these facts, the series on Law, Justice and Power takes a broad view of legal scholarship.It publishes books by social scientists, humanists and legal academics which connect an understanding of culture's normative ideals with examination of the complex ways that law works in the world, insist that justice is inseparable from social practices and analyze law as one form of power, one way of constituting, controlling and changing the social world. It focuses on state law as well as law in communities and cultural practices and on identities and their articulation in and through law, on law's power in the taken-for-granted world, on its role in the complex construction of nation and national power and on global developments which today destabilize and transform the meaning and significance of law. The series invites innovative scholarship that crosses disciplinary as well as geographic and temporal boundaries.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General