AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThis thesis critically assesses the scope and method of criminalisation of the concept of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 through the discussion of an apparent ‘duality’ between (co-existing) criminal and non-criminal resolution mechanisms. The reader will find social sciences theory and mixed-methods research techniques being used to identify and characterise a dysfunction between legislation and the social function of fraud control and its resolution. The 2006 Act appears to present a categorical and monolithic headline offence of fraud qualified by dishonesty, yet it is not clear that the Act clearly identifies the scope of effective criminalisation with respect to fraud. The dishonesty-based conduct offence provided in the Fraud Act 2006 is examined in the context of contemporary theory and practical considerations that relate to the discipline of law-enforcement. This work investigates pre-industrial modes of fraud resolution and identifies industrial-era points of divergence between the concepts of fraud and theft (a similar headline offence defined and criminalised under the Theft Act 1968). The work also offers an empirical study of survey-based data collection involving one-hundred-and-forty participants (N=140). It measured the practical extent of criminalisation of fraud in terms of participant indications of the (typically) most likely official outcome in response to sixteen hypothetical examples of fraud offences. The survey results appear to support practical, contextual, and theoretical considerations from the literature on the inhibitors to the consistent application of a conduct-based general fraud offence. The data and findings highlight the advantages of detailed actus reus-based criminalisation of types of fraud that require additional control through effective criminalisation.
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