Conscious Avoidance All Over Again

Conscious Avoidance All Over Again

I am again back on the conscious avoidance issue in its use generally and specifically in tax crimes.  The background is that tax crimes are the -- certainly an -- exception in Anglo-American jurisprudence where ignorance of the law is a defense.  Tax crimes require knowledge that the known facts are a crime.  Generally, crimes requiring knowledge merely require knowledge of the facts and not that the law defines knowledge that those facts constitute a crime.  Hence, for crimes requiring knowledge of facts, ignorance of the law is not a defense so long as the facts are known; for tax crimes requiring as an element intentional violation of a known legal duty, ignorance is a defense or, to put be more technically correct, the Government has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to violate a known legal duty where the defendant does not know the law.  I have obsessed on that fundamental point in early email, so I will not cover that ground again but will extend the obsession by addressing related points.

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