void for vagueness

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void for vagueness

adj. referring to a statute defining a crime which is so vague that a reasonable person of at least average intelligence could not determine what elements constitute the crime. Such a vague statute is unconstitutional on the basis that a defendant could not defend against a charge of a crime which he/she could not understand, and thus would be denied "due process" mandated by 5th Amendment, applied to the states by the 14th Amendment.

References in periodicals archive ?
its goals, but applying the vagueness doctrine itself also better
When people of reasonable intelligence disagree over local norms, constitutional claims involving the void for vagueness doctrine seem likely.
Fundamentally, the vagueness doctrine has evolved to embody the
19) Post suggests that instead the Court used vagueness doctrine to delineate "the kinds of judgments that can be made by government officials" in particular circumstances.
To be clear, the variety of statutory ambiguity that implicates the tension between lenity and deference should not be mistaken either for radical statutory indeterminacy or the utter lack of statutory clarity that raises vagueness doctrine concerns.
In addition to the overbreadth doctrine, the void for vagueness doctrine protects the right of free speech.
40) Further, the vagueness doctrine requires that criminal laws provide fair notice and explicit guidelines to individuals in order to prevent unnecessary regulation, which would deter people from engaging in protected speech.
1997) for proposition that "actual knowledge on part of the defendant of other party's gang membership status [is necessary] in order for injunction to pass scrutiny under the vagueness doctrine.
Ribeiro, Marco, Limiting Arbitrary Power: The Vagueness Doctrine in Canadian Constitutional Law (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004).
352, 358 (1983) (noting that the more important aspect of vagueness doctrine is the problem of arbitrary enforcement, not the problem of fair warning to the potential offender).