Banksy's graffiti: A not-so-simple case of criminal damage?

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Graffiti artists are, if caught, most likely to be prosecuted under s. 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971. This article explores the extent to which the substantive definition of criminal damage applies to them. There is no separate exculpatory or justificatory defence of ‘aesthetic value’, and so graffiti artists must argue that they either have not ‘damaged’ property, they lacked mens rea or they had lawful excuse. It is argued that the work of artists such as Banksy forces a reappraisal of the precision and applicability of criminal damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-361
Number of pages17
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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