In this contribution I address the type of emergency that threatens a stateâs monopoly of violence, meaning that the stateâs competence to provide citizens with elementary security is challenged. The question is, whether actions taken by the state to ward off these threats (should) fall within the ambit of the criminal law. A central problem is the indeterminacy that is inherent in the state of emergency, implicating that adequate measures as well as constitutional constraints to be imposed on such (...) measures cannot easily be determined in advance. This indeterminacy raises two interrelated issues. Firstly, the issue of whether it makes sense to speak of criminaljurisdiction when the existing jurisdiction is challenged as such. To what extent does the indeterminacy call for inherently unlimited powers of the state, implying there can be no such thing as criminaljurisdiction during a state of emergency? Secondâif criminaljurisdiction is not in contradiction with the state of emergencyâthe issue of what criminal liability could mean in such a state needs to be confronted. To what extent does the indeterminacy inherent in the state of emergency jeopardise criminal liability because such indeterminacy engenders severe legal uncertainty regarding the standards against which the relevant actions are to be judged? Both issues will be discussed from the perspective of constitutional democracy, assuming that what is at stake in times of emergency is both the competence to sustain the monopoly of violence and the possibility to constrain the powers of the state. (shrink)
Five pre-eminent legal theorists tackle a range of fundamental questions on the nature of the philosophy of criminal law. Their essays explore the extent to which and the ways in which our systems of criminal law can be seen as rational and principled. The essays discuss some of the principles by which, it is often thought, a system of law should be structured, and they ask whether our own systems are genuinely principled or riven by basic contradictions, (...) reflecting deeper political and social conflicts. The volume as a whole shows how lively and exciting contemporary legal theory can be. (shrink)
This work provides, for the first time, a unified account of the theory of action presupposed by both British and American criminal law and its underlying morality. It defends the view that human actions are volitionally caused body movements. This theory illuminates three major problems in drafting and implementing criminal law--what the voluntary act requirement does and should require, what complex descriptions of actions prohibited by criminal codes both do and should require, and when the two actions (...) are the "same" for purposes of assessing whether multiple prosecutions and multiple punishments are warranted. The book contributes to the development of a coherent theory of action in philosophy. It provides a grounding in three of the most basic elements of criminal liability for legislators, judges, and the lawyers who argue to them. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive handbook in the philosophy of criminal law. It contains seventeen original essays by leading thinkers in the field and covers the field's major topics including limits to criminalization, obscenity and hate speech, blackmail, the law of rape, attempts, accomplice liability, causation, responsibility, justification and excuse, duress, provocation and self-defense, insanity, punishment, the death penalty, mercy, and preventive detention and other alternatives to punishment. It will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students whose (...) research and studies concern philosophical issues in criminal law and criminal law theory. (shrink)
Does criminal liability require an act? -- Motive and criminal liability -- The costs to criminal theory of supposing that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility -- Transferred intent -- The nature and justifiability of nonconsummate offenses -- Strict liability, justice, and proportionality -- The sequential principle of relative culpability -- Willful ignorance, knowledge, and the equal culpability thesis : a study of the significance of the principle of legality -- Rapes without rapists : consent and reasonable mistake (...) -- Mistake of law and culpability -- On the supposed priority of justification to excuse -- Partial defenses -- The "but everybody does that!" defense -- The de minimis "defense" to criminal liability -- Why punish the deserving -- Malum prohibitum and retributivism -- Already punished enough. (shrink)
The wrongness of rape -- Rationality and the rule of law in offences against the person -- Complicity and causality -- In defence of defences -- Justifications and reasons -- The gist of excuses -- Fletcher on offences and defences -- Provocation and pluralism -- The mark of responsibility -- The functions and justifications of criminal law and punishment -- Crime : in proportion and in perspective -- Reply to critics.
The specialised vocabularies of lawyers, ethicists, and political scientists obscure the roots of many real disagreements. In this book, the distinguished American international lawyer Alfred Rubin provides a penetrating account of where these roots lie, and argues powerfully that disagreements which have existed for 3,000 years are unlikely to be resolved soon. Current attempts to make 'war crimes' or 'terrorism' criminal under international law seem doomed to fail for the same reasons that attempts failed in the early nineteenth century (...) to make piracy, war crimes, and the international traffic in slaves criminal under the law of nations. And for the same reasons, Professor Rubin argues, it is unlikely that an international criminal court can be instituted today to enforce ethicists' versions of 'international law'. (shrink)
Larry Alexander and Peter Westen each critically examine different topics from my recent collection of essays, The Philosophy of Criminal Law. Alexander focuses on my “Rapes Without Rapists,” “Mistake of Law and Culpability,” and “Already Punished Enough.” Westen offers a more extended commentary on my “Transferred Intent.” I briefly reply to each critic in turn and try to extend the debates in new directions.
This contribution aims to explain how European Criminal Law can be understood as constitutive of European identity. Instead of starting from European identity as a given, it provides a philosophical analysis of the construction of self-identity in relation to criminal law and legal tradition. The argument will be that the self-identity of those that share jurisdiction depends on and nourishes the legal tradition they adhere to and develop, while criminaljurisdiction is of crucial importance in (...) this process of mutual constitution. This analysis will be complemented with a discussion of the integration of the first and the third pillar as aimed for by the Constitutional Treaty (TE), which would bring criminal law under majority rule and European democratic control. Attention will be paid to two ground breaking judgements of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that seem to boil down to the fact that the Court actually manages to achieve some of the objectives of the CT even if this is not in force. This gives rise to a discussion of how the CT (and related judgements of the ECJ) may transform European criminal law in the Union to EU criminal law of the Union, thus producing an identity of the Union next to the identities prevalent in the Union. The contribution concludes with some normative questions about the kind of European identity we should aim to establish, given the fact that such identity will arise with further integration of criminal law into the first pillar. (shrink)
The criminal law raises wonderfully thorny foundational questions. Some of these questions are conceptual: What is a plausible conception of crime ? What is a plausible conception of criminal law ? Some of these questions are genealogical: What are the historical and genealogical roots of the criminal law in a particular jurisdiction? Other questions are evaluative: What are the political and moral values on which a given conception of criminal law depends? What kind of rational (...) reconstruction, if any, could the criminal law be given? And, finally, still other questions are exploratory and normative: Should parts of existing criminal law be abandoned? What new topics in criminal law theory need to be addressed in our globalised, technologically savvy world? The contributors to Antony Duff and Stuart P. Green’s collection Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law tackle these questions with zeal and independent spirit. They disagree markedly with each other about what the foundational questions are. And, they disagree about how those questions should be handled. This article charts their disagreements by situating the contributors within two taxonomies. The first groups them according to their approaches to the foundational questions; the second groups them according to their modes of theorising. This double taxonomy provides a useful frame within which to analyse these competing takes on the philosophically foundational work of criminal law theory. (shrink)
By what right, or under whose authority, do you try me? This is a common challenge raised by defendants standing trial in front of international criminal courts or tribunals. The challenge comes from the fact that traditionally criminal law is justified as a response of the state to wrongdoing that has been identified by the state as a crime. Nevertheless, since the early 1990s we have seen the development of international criminal tribunals that have the authority to (...) judge certain crimes. This article examines the moral foundation for the authority of international tribunals, arguing that it can be grounded on delegation of powers from the states with primary jurisdiction. The first part of the article examines whether there is any problem, as a matter of principle, in founding the courts’ jurisdictional authority on delegation of powers. It will argue that contrary to David Luban’s view, there is no inherent problem with states delegating their power to punish to other states or to international tribunals. Nevertheless, in making such a decision the ability of the court to provide fair process—a necessary requirement for the court’s ability to issue authoritative decisions—should be taken into account. The second part of the article takes the ICC as a case study and examines whether its jurisdiction can be grounded on delegation of powers. It will be shown that the court’s jurisdiction can indeed be founded on both direct and indirect delegation of jurisdiction from states with primary jurisdiction. This conclusion suggests that other international tribunals created by either multilateral treaties or by Security Council decisions may also be founded on similar grounds. (shrink)
The Colombian military and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) have committed systematic attacks against the Colombian people that violate international law. One such heinous incident took place in May 2003 at the Betoyes Guahibo indigenous reserve in Colombia. Unlike other acts of terror, the attack at the Reserve is well documented. Because of this, the attack on the Reserve is an excellent case for International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution. This article exposes acts of cruelty and makes a (...) persuasive moral case for ICC prosecution. The ICC has jurisdiction over the attack on the Betoyes people by the AUC and Colombian military. The article further discusses the potential legal exposure of the Colombian government, individual Colombians and US individuals through its military support and training of the Colombian military. (shrink)
International Criminal Law and Philosophy is the first anthology to bring together legal and philosophical theorists to examine the normative and conceptual foundations of international criminal law. In particular, through these essays the international group of authors addresses questions of state sovereignty; of groups, rather than individuals, as perpetrators and victims of international crimes; of international criminal law and the promotion of human rights and social justice; and of what comes after international criminal prosecutions, namely, (...) punishment and reconciliation. International criminal law is still an emerging field, and as it continues to develop, the elucidation of clear, consistent theoretical groundings for its practices will be crucial. The questions raised and issues addressed by the essays in this volume will aid in this important endeavor. (shrink)
In this challenging collection of new essays, leading philosophers and criminal lawyers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada break with the tradition of treating the philosophical foundations of criminal law as an adjunct to the study of punishment. Focusing clearly on the central issues of moral luck, mistake, and mental illness, this volume aims to reorient the study of criminal law. In the process of retrieving valuable material from traditional law classifications, the contributors break (...) down false associations, reveal hidden truths, and establish new patterns of thought. Their always illuminating and sometimes startling conclusions makes this essential reading for all those interested in the philosophy of criminal law. (shrink)
How are we to understand criminal law reform? The idea seems simpleâthe criminal law on the books is wrong: it should be changed. But 'wrongâ how? By what norms 'wrongâ? As soon as one tries to answer those questions, the issue becomes more complex. One kind of answer is that the criminal law is substantively wrong: that is, we assume valid norms of background political morality, and we argue that doctrinally the criminal law on the books (...) does not embody those norms. Another kind of answer is that the criminal law as it stands presupposes certain empirical facts, and yet those facts do not hold. Traditionally, criminal law reform has been informed by both these answers. Analytical theorists examine doctrine for its conceptual structure, and social scientists examine the actual workings of the criminal justice system. This tidy picture is, however, challenged by social constructivist accounts of the criminal law. They challenge the stability and conceptual purity of doctrine, and they challenge the objectivity of social science. On the basis of these challenges, they undermine the ambitions of traditional criminal law reform, and argue that the only reforms to the criminal law that matter are politicized onesâthat criminal law reform is pointless unless it serves the interests of the marginalized and the dispossessed. It seems undeniable that in some sense our perceptions of crime in our society are indeed moulded by social forces, and that crime does not exist independently of the social structures and processes that help to define and control it. But why should those insights have the implications for our understanding of criminal law reform that they are alleged to have? How could it follow from those insights that criminal law reform either becomes radicalized or valueless? The aim of this paper is to show that what can legitimately be taken from the emphasis on the social constructedness of crime does not require wholesale abandonment of the traditional picture of criminal law reform, even though it may require some modifications of that picture. (shrink)
As Federal Indian Law has evolved, many questions have been posed regarding tribal jurisdiction. This paper examines the jurisdiction tribes have over member Indians, non-member Indians, and non-member, non-Indians. It addresses the ethical challenge faced by tribal attorneys who represent non-member Indian clients in a manner that ultimately undermines tribal sovereignty.
Offences and Defences is an outstanding collection of eleven of John Gardner's previously published papers in the philosophy of criminal law. I briefly examine his views on five central issues: his claims about basic responsibility and whether it should be construed as relational; his positions on agent neutrality; his arguments about whether moral and criminal wrongs are typically strict; his thoughts about the structure of defences, and, finally, what his account of rape reveals about the content of (...) the harm principle. (shrink)
This new text will encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of the context and the current workings of the criminal justice system. Part One offers a clear, accessible and comprehensive review of the major philosophical aims and sociological theories of punishment, the history of justice and punishment, and the developing perspective of victimology. In Part Two, the focus is on the main areas of the contemporary criminal justice system including the police, the courts and judiciary, prisons, and (...) community penalties. The active engagement of students with the material covered distinguishes this text from others in the area and makes it a real teaching resource and invaluable text. (shrink)
This article challenges the use of social deprivation as a punishment, and offers a preliminary examination of the human rights implications of exile and solitary confinement. The article considers whether a human right against coercive social deprivation is conceptually redundant, as there are recognised rights against torture, extremely cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment as well as rights to basic health care, education, and security, which might encompass what this right protects. The article argues that the right is not conceptually redundant, (...) but that, even if it were, there would be significant reasons to articulate it. (shrink)
* Why should offenders be punished - what should punishments be designed to achieve? * Why has imprisonment become the normal punishment for crime in modern industrial societies? * What is the relationship between theories of punishment and the actual penalties inflicted on offenders? This revised and updated edition of a highly successful text provides a comprehensive account of the ideas and controversies that have arisen within law, philosophy, sociology and criminology about the punishment of criminals. Written in a (...) clear, accessible style, it summarises major philosophical ideas - retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation - and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. This new edition has been updated throughout including, for example, a new section on recent cultural studies of punishment and on the phenomenon of mass imprisonment that has emerged in the United States. This second edition includes a new chapter on restorative justice, which has developed considerably in theory and in practice since the publication of the first edition. The sociological perspectives of Durkheim, the Marxists, Foucault and their contemporary followers are analysed and assessed. A section on the criminological perspective on punishment looks at the influence of theory on penal policy, and at the impact of penal ideologies on those on whom punishment is inflicted. The contributions of feminist theorists, and the challenges they pose to masculinist accounts of punishment, are included. The concluding chapter presents critiques of the very idea of punishment, and looks at contemporary proposals which could make society's response to crime less dependent on punishment than at present. Understanding Justice has been designed for students from a range of disciplines and is suitable for a variety of crime-related courses in sociology, social policy, law and social work. It will also be useful to professionals in criminal justice agencies and to all those interested in understanding the issues behind public and political debates on punishment. (shrink)
This book addresses the retributive and "orthodox subjectivist" theories that dominate criminal justice theory alongside recent "revisionist" and "postmodern" approaches. Norrie argues that all these approaches, together with their faults and contradictions, stem from their orientation to themes in Kantian moral philosophy. He explores an alternative relational or dialectical approach; examines the work of Ashworth, Duff, Fletcher, Moore, Smith, and Williams; and considers key doctrinal issues.
The Grammar of Criminal Law is a 3-volume work that addresses the field of international and comparative criminal law, with its primary focus on the issues of international concern, ranging from genocide, to domestic efforts to combat terrorism, to torture, and to other international crimes. The first volume is devoted to foundational issues. The Grammar of Criminal Law is unique in its systematic emphasis on the relationship between language and legal theory; there is no comparable comparative study (...) of legal language. Written in the spirit of Fletcher's classic Rethinking Criminal Law, this work is essential reading in the field of international and comparative law. (shrink)
Written by leading philosophers and lawyers from the United States and the United Kingdom, this collection of original essays offers new insights into the doctrines that make up the general part of the criminal law. It sheds theoretical light on the diversity and unity of the general part and advances our understanding of such key issues as criminalisation, omissions, voluntary actions, knowledge, belief, reckelssness, duress, self-defence, entrapment and officially-induced mistake of law.
This book presents a comprehensive overview of what the criminal law would look like if organized around the principle that those who deserve punishment should receive punishment commensurate with, but no greater than, that which they ...
Organ trafficking and trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ transplantation are recognized as significant international problems. Yet these forms of trafficking are largely left out of international criminal law regimes and to some extent of domestic criminal law regimes as well. Trafficking of organs or persons for their organs does not come within the jurisdiction of the ICC, except in very special cases such as when conducted in a manner that conforms to the definitions of (...) genocide or crimes against humanity. Although the United States Code characterizes trafficking as a transnational crime with national implications, (22 U.S.C. Â§ 7101(b)(24) (2010)), trafficking is rarely prosecuted in domestic courts. It has thus functioned in practice largely as what might be judged a stateless offense, out of the purview of both international and national courts. Yet these forms of organ trafficking remain widespreadâand devastating to those who are its victims. In this article, we begin by describing what is known about the extent of organ trafficking and trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs. We then critically evaluate how and why such trafficking has remained largely unaddressed by both international and domestic criminal law regimes. This state of affairs, we argue, presents a missed chance for developing the legitimacy of international criminal law and an illustration of how far current international legal institutions remain from ideal justice. (shrink)
In recent years, political philosophers have hotly debated whether ordinary citizens have a general pro tanto moral obligation to follow the law. Contemporary philosophers have had less to say about the same question when applied to public officials. In this paper, I consider the latter question in the morally complex context of criminal justice. I argue that criminal justice officials have no general pro tanto moral obligation to adhere to the legal dictates and lawful rules of their offices. (...) My claim diverges not only from the commonsense view about such officials, but also from the positions standardly taken in legal theory and political science debates, which presume there is some general obligation that must arise from legal norms and be reconciled with political realities. I defend my claim by highlighting the conceptual gap between the rigid, generalised, codified rules that define a criminal justice office and the special moral responsibilities of the various moral roles that may underpin that office (such as guard, guardian, healer, educator, mediator, counsellor, advocate, and carer). After addressing four objections to my view, I consider specific contexts in which criminal justice officials are obligated not to adhere to the demands of their offices. Amongst other things, the arguments advanced in this paper raise questions about both the distribution of formal discretion in the criminal justice system and the normative validity of some of the offices that presently exist in criminal justice systems. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to critically discuss the plausibility of legal moralism with an emphasis on some central and recent versions. First, this paper puts forward and defends the thesis that recently developed varieties of legal moralism promoted by Robert P. George, John Kekes and Michael Moore are more plausible than Lord Devlin's traditional account. The main argument for this thesis is that in its more modern versions legal moralism is immune to some of the forceful challenges made (...) to Devlin by Hart, Dworkin and Feinberg among others. Second, however, the paper challenges the new generation of legal moralists and suggests some areas for further development. Although Devlin's position has been scrutinized thoroughly in the literature on the philosophy of law, there has, to my knowledge, been no comparable, systematic critique of these different proponents of legal moralism. (shrink)
Doug Husak frames a worry that makes sense in the abstract, but in reality, there is not much to worry about. The thesis that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility (IIP) is a straw man. There are reasons to think that the moral significance of intentions is not properly registered in criminal law. But the moral basis for criticism is not nearly as extreme as the IIP, and the fixes are not that hard to make. Lastly, if they are not (...) made, some people may not get the punishments they deserve, and there will be some extra inequities in the criminal law as a result. But these inequities are not so great that change must be made now. The moral categories that are used may be too crude, but they are also familiar and easy to work with, and that counts for something. (shrink)
In this contribution we will explore some of the implications of the vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) for law and legal philosophy. AmI creates an environment that monitors and anticipates human behaviour with the aim of customised adaptation of the environment to a personâs inferred preferences. Such an environment depends on distributed human and non-human intelligence that raises a host of unsettling questions around causality, subjectivity, agency and (criminal) liability. After discussing the vision of AmI we will present (...) relevant research in the field of philosophy of technology, inspired by the post-phenomenological position taken by Don Ihde and the constructivist realism of Bruno Latour. We will posit the need to conceptualise technological normativity in comparison with legal normativity, claiming that this is necessary to develop democratic accountability for the implications of emerging technologies like AmI. Lastly we will investigate to what extent technological devices and infrastructures can and should be used to achieve compliance with the criminal law, and we will discuss some of the implications of non-human distributed intelligence for criminal liability. (shrink)
This short review examines the work of four Canadian scholars addressing a variety of questions about criminal responsibility. The essays under review are a small part of a recent collection of essays entitled “Rethinking Criminal Law Theory: New Canadian Perspectives in the Philosophy of Domestic, Transnational, and International Criminal Law.”.
Gideon Yaffe presents a ground-breaking work which demonstrates the importance of philosophy of action for the law. Many people are serving sentences not for completing crimes, but for trying to. So the law governing attempted crimes is of practical as well as theoretical importance. Questions arising in the adjudication of attempts intersect with questions in the philosophy of action, such as what intention a person must have, if any, and what a person must do, if anything, to be (...) trying to act. Yaffe offers solutions to the difficult problems courts face in the adjudication of attempted crimes. He argues that the problems courts face admit of principled solution through reflection either on what it is to try to do something; or on what evidence is required for someone to be shown to have tried to do something; or on what sentence for an attempt is fair given the close relation between attempts and completions. The book argues that to try to do something is to be committed by one's intention to each of the components of success and to be guided by those commitments. Recognizing the implications of this simple and plausible position helps us to identify principled grounds on which the courts ought to distinguish between defendants charged with attempted crimes. (shrink)