When a defendant hailing from a minority background charged with a criminal offence states that his actions were reasonable in light of his culture, what implications does this have on the legal reasoning of the judges? When culture and cultural background is blamed for criminal acts, theorists use the expression the cultural defence . This thesis seeks to study the phenomenon and find an answer to the thesis question; what implications does culture have for legal reasoning when introduced as a mitigating circumstance in criminal court cases? I have studied and discussed six criminal cases in this thesis; three cases from the United Kingdom and three from Norway. In all six cases, the courts have been faced with the cultural defence and asked to consider the cultural background of the defendant when making their decision. The cases have covered the offences of murder, attempted murder, rape and causing a minor to engage in sexual activities, and in each case the defence has introduced the cultural background of the defendant as a possible mitigating circumstance. The thesis explores theories of multiculturalism with regards to the cases, as well as general theories on the cultural defence. Advocates of the cultural defence claim that it should be introduced as a valid, legal defence for criminal offences, which seems to be approved by multicultural theorists who argue that group-differentiated rights should be given to persons with minority backgrounds. This is contrasted by the critics of multicultural theories, who state that minorities should be held responsible for the disadvantages they face as a result of their own cultural ideals. Based on this theoretical backdrop the thesis explores the six cases one by one, aiming to find an answer to whether culture is reflected in legal reasoning or not. The most influential pieces of literature on the topic of the cultural defence cover the case law where culture has seemingly coloured the legal arguments and the outcome of the cases. The case law in this thesis has not been selected on the grounds of how successful the cultural defence has when introduced as a mitigating circumstance, but rather on the basis of whether the cultural background of the defendant has been introduced as a possible defence at all. Based on the six cases from Norway and the United Kingdom, we will be able to get a general impression of the tendencies amongst the courts to accept culture as a mitigating circumstance, and how this reflects in the legal reasoning of the judges.