Skip to main content
School of Law

New Book Forum: 'Allowing for Exceptions - A Theory of Defences and Defeasibility in Law' by Dr Luís Duarte d’Almeida

11 February 2016

Time: 4:00 - 6:30pm
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) and the Criminal Justice Centre (CJC) at Queen Mary University of London co-host this new book forum for Dr Luís Duarte d’Almeida’s (Edinburgh) new book, Allowing for Exceptions: A Theory of Defences and Defeasibility in Law, published with Oxford University Press.

The forum will begin with an introduction to the book by Dr Duarte d’Almeida and will be followed by short commentary.


About the book

You find yourself in a court of law, accused of having hit someone. What can you do to avoid conviction? You could simply deny the accusation: "No, I didn't do it". But suppose you did do it. You may then give a different answer. "Yes, I hit him", you grant, "but it was self-defence"; or "Yes, but I was acting under duress". To answer in this way - to offer a "Yes, but. . ." reply - is to hold that your particular wrong was committed in exceptional circumstances. Perhaps it is true that, as a rule, wrongdoers ought to be convicted. But in your case the court should set the rule aside. You should be acquitted. Within limits, the law allows for exceptions. Or so we tend to think. In fact, the line between rules and exceptions is harder to draw than it seems. How are we to determine what counts as an exception and what as part of the relevant rule? The distinction has important practical implications. But legal theorists have found the notion of an exception surprisingly difficult to explain. This is the longstanding jurisprudential problem that this book seeks to solve. The book is divided into three parts. Part I (Defeasibility in Question) introduces the topic and articulates the core puzzle of defeasibility in law. Part II (Defeasibility in Theory) develops a comprehensive proof-based account of legal exceptions. Part III (Defeasibility in Action) looks more closely into the workings of exceptions in accusatory contexts, including the criminal trial.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map

How to Book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Please register via the Queen Mary Eventbrite page.


For more information on this event, please email

Photography, video and audio recording

Please note that Department of Law events may be photographed or video and audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by Queen Mary University of London. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email in advance of the event that you are attending.

Back to top