University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

Document Type



It is difficult to get witnesses of brutal crimes to step up and act. This article argues that every state, including Arkansas, would be well served by implementing laws that would require individuals to notify law enforcement officials when they witness certain offenses.

First, the note discusses the common law history of the no-duty-to-aid principle, as well as duty-to-assist laws in other jurisdictions and current Arkansas reporting statutes. Next, the note examines the need for a specific duty-to-report in Arkansas. Then, a duty-to-report statute is proposed for consideration by the Arkansas Legislature. Thereafter, the note addresses imposition of both civil and criminal liability for violating a statute like the one proposed, along with potential problems regarding the proposed statute's enforceability. Finally, the note concludes by discussing the likelihood of such a statute being enacted in Arkansas. In conclusion, the note asserts that it would be worthwhile for Arkansas to enact a duty-to-report statute because of the policy implications and benefits derived from witnesses reporting crimes.