The aim of the discussion is to confront one of the circumstances that exclude criminality of an act, the so-called collision of duties (of the same importance), with the three-element structure of the crime. Differentiation of individual spheres of attributing or excluding criminality of an act (character of an act, unlawfulness, guilt) is connected with specific legal and penal consequences, and the crime structure itself has a hierarchical and normative character, i.e. determining the subsequent elements assumes the existence of previous elements (determining the lack of circumstances excluding unlawfulness of an act is possible only when the activities of a perpetrator executed the features of the act nature, and establishing the guilt is excluded when the act is not unlawful) and attributing an act on a higher level is connected with a more negative assessment. Positioning of the collision of duties in this structure is a matter of great scientific controversies. It is treated as a circumstance excluding unlawfulness, but excluding unlawfulness from the point of view of penal code, or as a circumstance excluding guilt, or even as a situation where there is a lack of execution of features characteristic of a forbidden act, it is placed in new, special spheres of assessment (excluding 'responsibility for an act', 'free from law' area). Collision of equally important duties may challenge homogeneity of criteria for individual spheres of attributing criminality to an act (including especially the rules of excluding unlawfulness), and disputes over its positioning may lead to blurring the borders between the stages of the crime structure.
Zbigniew Jedrzejewski, address not given, contact the journal editor
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