Criminal Liability in a Smart Environment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter starts with an analysis of legal personhood within the current legal framework, discussing whether, and to what extent, natural persons, animals, corporations, associations, artificial agents, or distributed intelligent multi-agent systems are, previously were, or should be regarded as legal persons. The analysis will build on the work of Dewey, French, Karnow, Wells and Solum, as well as other legal scholars writing on the issue of legal personhood for non-human actors. Next I will provide an introduction to smart environments, using the example of the high-tech environment of an airplane cockpit to sensitize the reader to what is at stake here. This will provide the groundwork for an analysis of the concepts of agency, moral agency and patiency, aiming to confront legal philosophy with findings from the field of Information Ethics, mainly building on Floridi and Sanders' understanding of mind-less moral agency. Finally I will discuss the potential of the attribution of a restricted or full legal personhood to artificial agents or smart environments, with respect to liability for regulatory offenses and for criminal liability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Criminal Law
EditorsR.a. Duff, Stuart P. Green
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages560
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-955915-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

R.A. Duff and Stuart P. Green


  • criminal liablity
  • smart environment
  • artificial life forms
  • artificial intelligence
  • non-human agency


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