Why Criminal Law: A Question of Content? [Book Review]

Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (2):99-122 (2008)
I take it as obvious that attempts to justify the criminal law must be sensitive to matters of criminalization—to what conduct is proscribed or permitted. I discuss three additional matters that should be addressed in order to justify the criminal law. First, we must have a rough idea of what degree of deviation is tolerable between the set of criminal laws we ought to have and the set we really have. Second, we need information about how the criminal law at any given time and place is administered, since the law in action is bound to differ radically from the law on the books. Finally, we must have some basis for speculating what life would be like in the absence of a system of criminal justice—if the state ceased to impose punishments.
Keywords Criminalization  Punishment  Rights  Legality  Discretion  Abolition
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11572-008-9048-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,822
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Wood (2010). Punishment: Consequentialism. Philosophy Compass 5 (6):455-469.
James Edwards (2011). Coming Clean About the Criminal Law. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (3):315-332.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #109,266 of 1,724,742 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,193 of 1,724,742 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.