David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoria 51 (105):104-128 (2004)
In this essay, I critically evaluate the new South African state's approach to crime prevention in light of the Kantian principle of respect of persons. I show that the five most common explanations of why the state must fight crime are unconvincing; provide a novel, respect-based account of why justice requires the state to prevent crime; and specify which crime fighting techniques the state must adopt in order to meet this requirement. Reviewing the South African state's criminal justice policies and practices since 1994, I also argue that it has failed to fulfill its obligation to fight crime, which failure is neither excused nor justified.
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