118 research outputs found

    La gradation de la culpabilité morale et des formes de risque de préjudice dans le cadre de la répression de la tentative

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    Le présent article s'emploie d'emblée à redonner à la notion de risque de préjudice sa juste place dans l'analyse de l'infraction de tentative. L'auteur s'intéresse premièrement aux liens unissant l'incrimination de la tentative à la notion de risque de préjudice. Il sonde ensuite les fondements de la distinction entre l'acte préparatoire et le commencement d'exécution. Il en dégage deux principes directeurs. La répression de la tentative varie normalement en fonction de la nature du risque de préjudice projeté par l'inculpé; elle tient ensuite compte, dans une moindre mesure, du degré véritable d'appréhension de ce risque. L'analyse porte, dans un deuxième temps, sur les mécanismes d'évaluation du degré de culpabilité morale du prévenu. Le droit pénal fait de l'intensité de la culpabilité morale de l'accusé un préalable à sa condamnation. Le droit s'est donné deux formes de contrôle: le commencement d'exécution et le particularisme de l'élément mental de la tentative. Selon l'auteur, la distinction entre les actes préparatoires et le commencement d'exécution n'a pas pour principal objet de s'assurer de l'existence d'un dessein illicite de la part du prévenu. Elle a avant tout pour rôle de vérifier la détermination de l'accusé à accomplir ce dessein. Le droit procède à un examen du degré de culpabilité morale de l'accusé par l'intermédiaire du commencement d'exécution. Il est dès lors erroné de prétendre que l'élément mental est d'une plus grande importance que l'élément matériel en matière de tentative. La dernière partie du texte intègre les notions précédentes dans le contexte de l'infraction impossible à perpétrer. La culpabilité morale élevée du prévenu n'appelle pas, à elle seule, l'intervention du droit criminel. La notion de risque de préjudice demeure, là encore, fondamentale. Le préjudice projeté par l'accusé doit être de ceux que le droit interdit déjà. Aussi importe-t-il de ne pas confondre l'infraction irréalisable et l'infraction inexistante.This article first investigates the theoretical and practical relationship between the law of attempts and the risk of prejudice. The author studies the links between the prohibition of attempts and the nature of the contemplated risk of prejudice. He then scrutinizes the foundations of the legal distinction between preparatory acts and the actus reus of attempts. Two conclusions emerge from this analysis. The punishment of attempts is normally grounded upon the seriousness of the risk of prejudice envisaged by the accused; it is also dependent, albeit to a more limited extent, upon the actual degree of apprehension of that risk materializing. This text then examines the methods of evaluating the level of moral guilt of the accused. The significance of the level of turpitude is a precondition to the accused's guilt. Criminal law has instituted two methods of assessing this degree of moral guilt. The first method lies in the distinction between acts of preparation and acts of perpetration. According to this article, the primary end of distinguishing between preparatory acts and the actus reus of attempts is not to secure evidence of the accused's illicit purpose; it is instead to ascertain the accused's firmness of purpose. The law thus proceeds with an examination of the actual degree of moral guilt through the actus reus test; it is therefore misleading to assert that the mental element is far more important than the actus reus in the law of attempts. The distinct definition ascribed to mens rea in the field of attempts is in fact criminal law's second method of gauging whether the accused has the requisite level of moral guilt. The last part of this text examines the validity of these conclusions as regards impossible attempts. The elevated degree of turpitude required of the accused does not call in and of itself for penal sanctions. The notion of prejudice retains its central importance here as well. The accused's guilt depends on whether or not the contemplated prejudice is already sanctioned by criminal law. Hence the need to differentiate between unattainable offences and inexistent ones

    Droit et droiture : le critère de la malhonnêteté et la fraude criminelle

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    Le présent article a pour but de concilier l'impératif d'imposer une norme d'honnêteté d'application générale en matière de fraude criminelle avec l'exigence de discerner un état d'esprit proprement blâmable de la part de l'inculpé. La démarche de l'auteur débouche sur l'étude des liens qu'entretiennent certaines infractions contre les biens et le droit privé afin d'en faire ressortir la pertinence au moment de l’interprétation de la règle de droit pénal. La fraude selon l'article 380 (1) du Code criminel ne protège pas la plénitude des prérogatives normalement rattachées au droit de propriété : elle ne s'attarde qu'aux conséquences économiques néfastes de la spoliation. L'avantage de n'entendre protéger en droit criminel que certains attributs précis du droit de propriété est de confiner la répression pénale à ces seuls actes où l'accusé est à même d'en reconnaître le caractère répréhensible. Subordonner la malhonnêteté des intentions du fraudeur à la création et à l’anticipation d'un risque de préjudice à l'endroit des intérêts patrimoniaux d'autrui ménage tant la nécessité de retrouver chez l'accusé un état d'esprit blâmable que la recherche de critères stables et permanents en droit pénal.The aim of this article is to reconcile the need in criminal law to impose a single standard of honesty applicable to everyone with the requirement not to punish a person lacking a morally culpable mind.This study emphasizes the links between private law and some property offences as well as the relevance of such links in the interpretation of criminal law. The offence of fraud set out in section 380 (1) of the Criminal Code does not purport to protect the complete range of prerogatives normally associated with property rights, it is concerned solely with the prejudicial economic consequences of despoliation. Penal sanctions are, therefore, properly restricted to those acts, the reprehensible nature of which the accused is capable of recognizing. The dishonesty in the agent's mind is a reflection of the creation and anticipation of a risk of prejudice to someone else's financial interests. This criterion satisfies both the need to punish only those who have a blameworthy state of mind and that of ensuring that criminal law rests on well defined and stable principles

    Brain mechanisms associated with facial encoding of affective states

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    Affective states are typically accompanied by facial expressions, but these behavioral manifestations are highly variable. Even highly arousing and negative valent experiences, such as pain, show great instability in facial affect encoding. The present study investigated which neural mechanisms are associated with variations in facial affect encoding by focusing on facial encoding of sustained pain experiences. Facial expressions, pain ratings, and brain activity (BOLD-fMRI) during tonic heat pain were recorded in 27 healthy participants. We analyzed facial expressions by using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) and examined brain activations during epochs of painful stimulation that were accompanied by facial expressions of pain. Epochs of facial expressions of pain were coupled with activity increase in motor areas (M1, premotor and SMA) as well as in areas involved in nociceptive processing, including primary and secondary somatosensory cortex, posterior and anterior insula, and the anterior part of the mid-cingulate cortex. In contrast, prefrontal structures (ventrolateral and medial prefrontal) were less activated during incidences of facial expressions, consistent with a role in down-regulating facial displays. These results indicate that incidences of facial encoding of pain reflect activity within nociceptive pathways interacting or possibly competing with prefrontal inhibitory systems that gate the level of expressiveness

    Mirroring Pain in the Brain: Emotional Expression versus Motor Imitation

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    Perception of pain in others via facial expressions has been shown to involve brain areas responsive to self-pain, biological motion, as well as both performed and observed motor actions. Here, we investigated the involvement of these different regions during emotional and motor mirroring of pain expressions using a two-task paradigm, and including both observation and execution of the expressions. BOLD responses were measured as subjects watched video clips showing different intensities of pain expression and, after a variable delay, either expressed the amount of pain they perceived in the clips (pain task), or imitated the facial movements (movement task). In the pain task condition, pain coding involved overlapping activation across observation and execution in the anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, inferior frontal gyrus/anterior insula, and the inferior parietal lobule, and a pain-related increase (pain vs. neutral) in the anterior cingulate cortex/supplementary motor area, the right inferior frontal gyrus, and the postcentral gyrus. The 'mirroring' response was stronger in the inferior frontal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus during the pain task, and stronger in the inferior parietal lobule in the movement task. These results strongly suggest that while motor mirroring may contribute to the perception of pain expressions in others, interpreting these expressions in terms of pain content draws more heavily on networks involved in the perception of affective meaning

    Placebo analgesia persists during sleep : an experimental study

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    Although placebo analgesia is a well-recognized phenomenon with important clinical implications, the possibility that placebo effects occur during sleep has received little attention. This experimental study examined whether responsiveness to acute heat pain stimuli applied during sleep could be reduced following a placebo conditioning procedure administered before sleep. Healthy individuals (n = 9) underwent polysomnographic recordings for one habituation night followed by one placebo analgesia night and one control night in counterbalanced order. Conditioning induced robust analgesia expectations before the placebo night. In the morning after the placebo night, participants reported less nocturnal pain, anxiety, and associated sleep disturbance (all p's < 0.05) compared to the control night. Furthermore, placebo induction produced a 10% reduction in brain arousals evoked by noxious stimuli during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep (p = 0.03), consistent with our previous findings suggesting that analgesia expectations are reprocessed during REM sleep. In contrast, arousals increased by 14% during slow wave sleep (SWS) (p = 0.02). In the morning after the last recording night, placebo testing administered as a manipulation check confirmed that typical placebo analgesic responses were produced during waking (p's < 0.05). These results suggest that analgesia expectations developed before sleep reduced nocturnal pain perception and subjective sleep disturbances and activated brain processes that modulate incoming nociceptive signals differentially according to sleep stage. These results need to be replicated in future studies exploring how analgesia expectations may be reactivated during different sleep stages to modulate nociceptive responses
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