Arson (criminal law) [Ro.: incendiere, Fr.: incendie volontaire, De.: Brandstiftung, Gr.: εμπρησμός] = the crime of setting fire to property and resulting in damages. Most countries classify arson in various distinct offences, depending on whether the damage to the property was caused intentionally or negligently.

Aggravated ~ = If, in the course of perpetrating the crime, people were also put in danger, injured or killed, the action will fall under a separate, more serious form of arson, which carries a longer prison sentence.


Useful resources

Legislation - Article 253 of the Romanian Penal Code [Romanian] - UK Criminal Damage Act 1971 [English] - French Penal Code [English] - Section 306-306f of the German Criminal Code [English] - Articles 264-267 of the Greek Penal Code [Greek] - US Criminal Code [English] - Article 150 of the NY Penal Code [English]

Case law - House of Lords (UK), R v Miller, 1982 -  House of Lords (UK), R v G, 2003

Court of Appeal (UK), R v Goodfellow, (1986) 83 Cr App R 23 

Court of Appeal (UK), R v Martin Allan Cooper, [2004] EWCA Crim 1382


Organisations and associations - Arson Prevention Bureau – UK - International Association of Arson Investigators (I.A.A.I.) - NCJRS - Property Crime (Arson) - Staying Alive - Arson

Online publications - Braun W. C., 1952, Legal Aspects of arson, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 43 [English] – Goetz B., 1997, Organization as Class Bias in Local Law Enforcement: Arson-for-Profit as a ‘Nonissue’, Law & Society Review Vol. 31, No. 3 [English] - UK Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime, 2015, About Arson in the United Kingdom [English]


Decker and Ottley, 2009, Arson Law and Prosecution, Carolina Academic Press [English]

Doley, 2003, Pyromania: fact or fiction?, Brit. J. Criminol. 2003, 43(4) [English]

Goble, 2005, Smoking and smouldering cigarettes: who's responsible, Magistrate 2005 61(1) [English]

Powell, 2004, Goodbye to Caldwell recklessness, M.C.P. 2004 8(1) [English]

Prins, 2001, Arson - a brief review, Prison Serv. J. 2001, 133 [English]

By Sabina Aionesei