Recent years have seen mounting challenge to the model of the criminal trial on the grounds it is not cost-effective, not preventive, not necessary, not appropriate, or not effective. These challenges have led to changes in the scope of the criminal law, in criminal procedure, and in the nature and use of criminal trials. These changes include greater use of diversion, of fixed penalties, of summary trials, of hybrid civilâcriminal processes, of strict liability, of incentives (...) to plead guilty, and of preventive orders. The paper will assess the implications of these changes for the function of the criminal law, assessing the reasons behind them, and examining whether or not they are to be welcomed. Identifying the larger import of these changes draws attention to the changing relationship between state and citizen as well as changes in the nature of the state itself. These can in turn be attributed to a jostling among the different manifestations of the authoritarian state, the preventive state, and the regulatory state. These changes have profound normative implications for a liberal theory of the criminal law that require its re-articulation and its defence. A modest start may be to insist that where the conduct is criminal and the consequences are punitive the protections of criminal procedure and trial must be upheld. (shrink)
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)
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)
What is the foundation of consent in the criminal law? Classically liberal commentators have offered at least three distinct theories. J.S. Mill contends we value consent because individuals are the best judges of their own interests. Joel Feinberg argues an individual’s consent matters because she has a right to autonomy based on her intrinsic sovereignty over her own life. Joseph Raz also focuses on autonomy, but argues that society values autonomy as a constituent element of individual well-being, which it (...) is the state’s duty to promote. The criminal law’s approach to the problem of non-contemporaneous consent—prospective consent and retrospective consent—casts a unique light on the differences among these three justifications. Peter Westen claims neither Mill’s nor Feinberg’s justifications for consent fully explains how non-contemporaneous consent is treated in the criminal law. Specifically, Mill’s “self-interest” conception explains the criminal law’s limited recognition of prospective consent, but cannot explain its total rejection of retrospective consent. Conversely, Feinberg’s “sovereign autonomy” conception explains why the criminal law rejects retrospective consent, but cannot explain why the law recognizes irrevocable prospective consent only in limited circumstances. I resolve this dilemma by explaining that Raz’s “autonomy is good” conception is consistent with both the criminal law’s limited recognition of irrevocable prospective consent and its total rejection of retrospective consent. This suggests the existing criminal law embodies Raz’s theory that it is the duty of the state to promote morality, in particular the moral good of individual well-being through living autonomously. In contrast, the criminal law’s treatment of consent would have to be modified if it were to reflect Mill’s “self-interest” conception, or Feinberg’s “sovereign autonomy” conception. (shrink)
This paper, originally written for a conference on criminal law in times of emergency, considers the implications of the â€˜German Airliner caseâ€™ for criminal law theory. In that case, the German constitutional court struck down as unconstitutional a law empowering state officials to order the shooting down of a hijacked plane on the grounds that the state could not order the killing of innocent civilians. Some have argued that despite this ruling, individual officials should still be entitled to (...) claim a criminal law justification defence. I argue that the nature of justification defences necessarily ties them to the powers of the state to engage in such activity. I also argue that both the constitutional decision and its criminal law implications are salutary. (shrink)
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 criminal jurisdiction 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)
Following are two short contributions to the book, _Criminal Law Conversations_: commentaries on Paul Robinson's discussion of "Empirical Desert" and Antony Duff & Sandra Marshal's discussion of the sharing of wrongs.
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)
Current International Criminal Law (‘ICL’) suffers from at least four theoretical shortcomings regarding its ‘concept and meaning’, ‘ius puniendi’ (supranational right to punish), ‘overall function’ and ‘purposes of punishment’ (For clarification of these basic questions, see Ambos in Oxf J Legal Stud 33:293–315, 2013b. Of course, there are many possible conceptualisations of the basic questions facing any theory of criminal law see, for example, Murphy in Columbia Law Rev 87:509–532, 1987. Yet, taking the perspective of ICL, I would (...) argue that these are the most important conceptual questions today.). These issues are intimately interrelated; in particular, any reflection upon the last two issues without having first clarified the ius puniendi would not make sense. As argued elsewhere (Ambos in Oxf J Legal Stud 33:293–315, 2013b), in an initial contribution towards a consistent theory of ICL, the ius puniendi can be inferred from a combination of the incipient supranationality of the value-based world order and the world citizens’ fundamental human rights predicated upon a Kantian concept of human dignity. On this basis, it is now possible to examine the overall function of ICL. Given the fact that ICL has not yet achieved the status of an autonomous discipline, the inquiry must start with a discussion of national theories of criminalisation. The article focuses on the two most important theories of criminalisation, namely the theories of protection of Rechtsgüter (‘legal goods’) and the prevention of harm (see infra second section). Next, it examines whether and how these national theories can be transferred to ICL (see infra third section). (shrink)
The paper argues for attaching a significant role to the dignity of offenders as a limitation on the scope of substantive criminal law. Three different aspects of human dignity are discussed. Human dignity is closely connected with the principle of culpability. Respecting the dignity of offenders requires that we assign criminal liability according to the actual attitudes of the offenders towards the interests protected by the offence. The doctrine of natural and probable consequence of complicity, which allows us (...) to assign liability for mens rea offenses to a negligent offender, violates the dignity of the offender; it treats the incautious offender as if she had willfully expressed disrespect towards the protected interest. The human dignity core of privacy is invaded by criminalizing the private possession of child pornography. By extending the prohibition of the creation, sale and distribution of child pornography to the private possession of pornography, the State attempts to control the way the individual expresses an essential part of the self—his sexual fantasies—within himself. Dignity demands that our actions convey an attitude of respect towards human beings. The expressive meaning of disrespect is culture-dependent. The historical association with totalitarian regimes explains our reluctance to impose a legal duty to report past crime: the individual who is legally required to turn a suspect into the police is viewed as an “informant.”. (shrink)
The article addresses the argument, put forward by Lernestedt, that the proprietor of the ‘criminal-law conflict’ is the community (or the community and the offender) and discusses his proposed theoretical model of criminal law trial. I raise questions regarding the legitimacy of such a model, focusing on four counts. Firstly, I assert that his assumptions about the state the individual and the old/new versions of criminal law theory are society-dependent. Secondly, I address some problems with the concept (...) of community and particularly with the proposed conception of community, which seems to mostly exclude the offender. Thirdly, I question the need for (or added value of) such a proposed conceptual involvement of the community as an actor in the criminal law process and theory. Lastly, some potential problems with the idea of the victim as a mere “representative of us” are mentioned, including the possibly undesirable demands and limitations on the victim’s agency and issues of respect for the victim’s individuality. (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)
This article constructs a critical historical, political and theoretical analysis of the essence of Fascist criminal law discourse in terms of the violence that shaped and characterised it. The article examines the significance of violence in key declarations about the role and purpose of criminal law by Alfredo Rocco, Fascist Minister of Justice and leading ideologue, in his principal speech on the final draft of the 1930 Italian Penal Code. It is grounded on the premise that criminal (...) law is particularly significant for understanding the relationship between State power and individuals, and so what was distinctive about Fascist thinking in this regard. The article analyses Rocco’s declarations as a discourse in order to highlight their contextual foundations, construction and ideological connections. It argues that the core theme of that discourse is violence, which has three principal dimensions: a close historical and rhetorical connection with war, a focus on repressive and intimidatory force, and a paramount concern with subordinating individuals to State interests. The article then uses this analysis to develop a theoretical reading of the nexus between criminal law and violence in Fascism, in terms of its foundations and reversal of ends and means. The article thus provides an original perspective on Fascism and criminal law, which it argues is important for critical engagement with criminal law discourse in our democracies today. (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)
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.
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)
This essay proposes a theory of excuse that, without blending it into exculpation, avoids the condonation of crime. The question it takes up is: given that neither compulsion by circumstances nor by human threats removes the legal reason for punishing, how can its exonerating force be rendered compatible with the stateâs general duty to punish the guilty? The chapter criticizes various proposals for reconciling excuse with the duty to punish the guilty, including the moral involuntariness theory, the concession to frailty (...) theory, and the conformity to moral expectation theory. It then proposes a solution: moral blamelessness exonerates because it simulates the conditions for legal exculpation. Just as the exculpated actor acknowledges the legal norm of mutual respect for agents, so does the excused actor acknowledge the public reason of the self-sufficient political community of which the legal norm is a part. The author argues that this theory would excuse the altruistic no less than the self-preferring murderer. (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.
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 ...
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)
The present article discusses the broadening of the concept of genocide in Lithuanian national criminal law with regard to the principle of nullum crimen sine lege. The broadened definition, which includes two groups, social and political raises serious problems when the national provisions on genocide are applied retroactively. However, in the case of Lithuania, such a broadening of the definition may be interpreted not as an introduction of distinct independent groups, but of groups that closely overlap with the groups (...) defined by the UN Genocide convention of 1948. The article suggests that potential problems with the principle of nullum crimen sine lege may be avoided by qualifying crimes against the Soviet regime as crimes against humanity. (shrink)
In societies of high legal culture, criminal law is regarded as a protective and repressive measure of the state, as an imperative of crime and inevitable punishment (as a strict rule). Therefore, the article attempts to show the fact that the entirety of the provisions and norms of criminal law, consolidated in a modern democratic state under the rule of law (or, at least, a state that is attempting to become such a state), allows for the assertion that (...) the purpose of criminal law is coordination or, at least, the balance of the interests of conflicting subjects—the victim and the culprit, the culprit and the state. Thus, by means of criminal law, one can try to attain legal concord in seemingly irreconcilable situations. The reality of such striving is confirmed by court practice and statistics in criminal justice. The article analyses the origin of the reconciliation function, essentially a new aspect of criminal law. A position is formed that the fundamentals of such a function of criminal law are “laid” by the provisions of the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania that the striving of the Nation is an open, just and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law. For the implementation of these provisions, one makes use of the possibilities of penal law-making and respectively corrects the penal policy. (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)
After briefly sketching an historical account of criminal law that emphasizes its longstanding reach into social, commercial and personal life outside the core areas of criminal offenses, this paper explores why criminal law theory has never succeeded in limiting the content of criminal codes to offenses that fit the criteria of dominant theories, particularly versions of the harm principle. Early American writers on criminal law endorsed no such limiting principles to criminal law, and early (...) American criminal law consequently was substantively broad. But even with the rise of theories in the mid-nineteenth century that sought to limit criminal lawâs reach, codified offenses continued to widely and deeply regulate social life and exceed the limits of those normative arguments. This essay suggests that this practical failure of criminal law theory occurred because it was never adopted by an institutional actor that could limit offense definitions in accord with normative commitments. Legislatures are institutionally unsuited to having their policy actions limited by principled arguments, and courts passed on the opportunity to incorporate a limiting principle for criminal law once they began, in the Lochner era, actively regulating legislative decisions through Constitutional law. The one avenue through which criminal law theory has had some success in affecting criminal codes is through the influence of specialized bodies that influence legislation, especially the American Law Institute advocacy of the Model Penal Code. But the institutional structure of American criminal law policymaking permits an unusually small role for such specialized bodies, and without such an institutional mechanism, criminal law theory is likely to continue to have little effect on actual criminal codes. (shrink)
The present article analyses the so-called ‘crime of denial’ recently established in Article 1702 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code. It describes how this crime was introduced in the Lithuanian Law, and the reasons for its present form and challenges. The crime has been applied in two instances (Stankeras case and Paleckis case). The author discusses these two instances of application, critically reviews the arguments of the Prosecutor’s Office and of the court of first instance and shows that at least (...) in the first cases of application of this crime, its objectives and particularities are misunderstood. (shrink)
Recent developments in criminal legislation of the Republic of Lithuania among other significant novelties include the criminalization of illicit enrichment as criminal offence. Such offence presents new legal instrument for the law enforcement in dealing with individuals who acquire property in doubtful ways. The crime of illicit enrichment is rather a novelty within the context of criminal legislation. Such novelty was largely based upon the requirements of United Nations Convention against Corruption, which stipulates the implementation of such (...) legal measure. According to the article Twenty of the convention, “Subject to its constitution and the fundamental principles of its legal system, each State Party shall consider adopting such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as a criminal offence, when committed intentionally, illicit enrichment, that is, a significant increase in the assets of a public official that he or she cannot reasonably explain in relation to his or her lawful income”. While the convention was undoubtedly major factor for making grounds for said developments the need to widen the scope of confiscation of property and impound illegally acquired wealth were the driving forces behind the political will to support amendments to the Criminal Code. At same time the new offence of illicit enrichment presents significant challenges for the investigative bodies with the prosecution as well as the courts establishing such offences. First and foremost, the techniques of criminalization and legal wording of the offence are new and do not go well with the established principles of criminalization. Unnatural features of the corpus of the crime listed in the code (article No. 1891 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania) involve criminal act lacking attributes illegitimacy, complications regarding guilt of the accused. In addition, doubts and questions regarding the fundamental principles of criminal procedure, due process concerns, and problems of the balance of the rights of the accused with the right of the society to recover illicitly acquired wealth. The relationship of illicit enrichment to other criminal acts committed by the same accused is also of a great importance in establishing sources of such enrichment. As for the time of submission of present article, one hundred and seven interrogations on the illicit enrichment were on and lasting while only three simplified judgments and one proper court sentence were passed. The reasons for such slow implementation of the law are the ambiguities of the definition of law, as well as limitations of regulations, insufficiencies in asset declaration systems, lack of theoretical background and complete absence of court practice on such cases. Two of the existing convictions are analyzed from the point of view of establishment of guilt, the evidence set in the case, the grounds of adequacy of such convictions. The examples presented give basis to judge the adequacy of the new law an opportunity to predict the future rulings of the courts. Necessity of the improvements of the law becomes quite obvious on the basis of the analysis. Strong criticisms, various scientific suggestions on the improvements of the regulations, namely on the constitution of guilt, wording of the criminal act are presented by the author. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction - when criminal law encounters bioethics: a case of tensions and incompatibilities or an apt forum for resolving ethical conflict? Amel Alghrani, Rebecca Bennett and Suzanne Ost; Part I. Death, Dying, and the Criminal Law: 2. Euthanasia and assisted suicide should, when properly performed by a doctor in an appropriate case, be decriminalised John Griffiths; 3. Five flawed arguments for decriminalising euthanasia John Keown; 4. Euthanasia excused: between prohibition and permission Richard Huxtable; (...) Part II. Freedom and Autonomy: When Consent Is Not Enough: 5. Body integrity identity disorder - a problem of perception? Robert Smith; 6. Risky sex and 'manly diversions': the contours of consent in criminal law - transmission and rough horseplay cases David Gurnham; 7. 'Consensual' sexual activity between doctors and patients: a matter for the criminal law? Suzanne Ost and Hazel Biggs; Part III. Criminalising Biomedical Science: 8. 'Scientists in the dock': regulating science Amel Alghrani and Sarah Chan; 9. Bioethical conflict and developing biotechnologies: is protecting individual and public health from the risks of xenotransplantation a matter for the (criminal) law? Sara Fovargue; 10. The criminal law and enhancement - none of the law's business? Nishat Hyder and John Harris; 11. Dignity as a socially constructed value Stephen Smith; Part IV. Bioethics and Criminal Law in the Dock: 12. Can English law accommodate moral controversy in medicine? The case of abortion Margaret Brazier; 13. The case for decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland Marie Fox; 14. The impact of the loss of deference towards the medical profession Jose; Miola; 15. Criminalising medical negligence David Archard; 16. All to the good? Criminality, politics, and public health John Coggon; 17. Moral controversy, human rights and the common law judge Brenda Hale. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction - when criminal law encounters bioethics: a case of tensions and incompatibilities or an apt forum for resolving ethical conflict? Amel Alghrani, Rebecca Bennett and Suzanne Ost; Part I. Death, Dying, and the Criminal Law: 2. Euthanasia and assisted suicide should, when properly performed by a doctor in an appropriate case, be decriminalised John Griffiths; 3. Five flawed arguments for decriminalising euthanasia John Keown; 4. Euthanasia excused: between prohibition and permission Richard Huxtable; (...) Part II. Freedom and Autonomy: When Consent Is Not Enough: 5. Body integrity identity disorder - a problem of perception? Robert Smith; 6. Risky sex and 'manly diversions': the contours of consent in HIV transmission and rough horseplay cases David Gurnham; 7. 'Consensual' sexual activity between doctors and patients: a matter for the criminal law? Suzanne Ost and Hazel Biggs; Part III. Criminalising Biomedical Science: 8. 'Scientists in the dock': regulating science Amel Alghrani and Sarah Chan; 9. Bioethical conflict and developing biotechnologies: is protecting individual and public health from the risks of xenotransplantation a matter for the (criminal) law? Sara Fovargue; 10. The criminal law and enhancement - none of the law's business? Nishat Hyder and John Harris; 11. Dignity as a socially constructed value Stephen Smith; Part IV. Bioethics and Criminal Law in the Dock: 12. Can English law accommodate moral controversy in medicine? Lessons from abortion Margaret Brazier; 13. The case for decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland Marie Fox; 14. The impact of the loss of deference towards the medical profession Jose; Miola; 15. Criminalising medical negligence David Archard; 16. All to the good? Criminality, politics, and public health John Coggon; 17. Moral controversy, human rights and the common law judge Brenda Hale. (shrink)
This article starts from the observation that in classical Athens the discovery of democracy as a normative model of politics has been from the beginning not only a political and a legal but at the same time a philosophical enterprise. Reflections on the concept of criminal law and on the meaning of punishment can greatly benefit from reflections on Athenian democracy as a germ for our contemporary debate on criminal justice in a democracy. Three main characteristics of the (...) Athenian model will be analysed: the self-instituting capacity of a democracy based on participatory and reflective citizenship, political power as the capacity of citizens for co-operating and co-acting with others, and the crime of hubris as one of the key issues in Athenian criminal law. These analyses will lead to the conclusion that one of the key issues of a democratic legal order lies in its capacity of recognizing the fragility of the human condition and of developing workable and effective standards of justice in that context. A relational conception of criminal law and punishment, based on proportionality, reflexivity, mutual respect and responsibility fits best with a democracy under the rule of law. (shrink)
This paper addresses three doctrinal phenomena of which it finds evidence in English law: the quiet extension of the criminal law so as to criminalise that which is by no means an obvious offence; the creation of offences the goal of which is not to guide potential offenders away from crime; and the existence of offending behaviour which is not itself thought to justify arrest or prosecution. While such phenomena have already been criticised by other criminal law theorists, (...) this paper offers a critique to which little attention has yet been paid. It argues that the existence of these phenomena has been concealed from public view: that the organs of state have encouraged the belief that they are no part of English law. The paper then argues that it is high time the state came clean. The state owes its people answers for the imposition of the criminal law: it must account for the creation and enforcement of any given criminal offence. When the state misleads its people about the criminal lawâ€™s scope, goals and enforcement, it refuses to provide those people with the answers they are owed. (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 article takes up Smart’s suggestion to examine the way the law works in practice. It explores the context of current criminal prosecutions of domestic violence offences in Queensland, Australia. This article argues that legal method is applied outside the higher courts or “judge-oriented” practice and that the obstacles inherent to legal method can be identified in the practices of police, lower court staff, magistrates and lawyers. This article suggests that it may be difficult to deconstruct legal method, even (...) by focussing on law in practice, and as a result it may be difficult to successfully challenge law’s truth claims in this way. The analysis of criminal prosecutions of domestic violence offences reported here supports Smart’s earlier findings that women and children who seek redress through the criminal justice process find the process at best ambivalent and at worst, destructive. However, the article also shows how, in the Queensland context, women sometimes find their way to feminism and personal empowerment by going to law. (shrink)
This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.
I take it as obvious that attempts to justify the criminal law must be sensitive to matters of criminalizationâto 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 justiceâif the state ceased to impose punishments. (shrink)
In this paper I am specifically concerned with a normative assessment, from the perspective of a principled criminal law theory, of norms criminalizing illegal immigration. The overarching question I will dwell on is one specifically regarding the way of using criminal law which is implied in the enactment of such kinds of norms. My thesis will essentially be that it constitutes a veritable abuse of criminal law. In two senses at least: first, in the sense that by (...) criminalizing illegal immigration criminal law puts a ban on (certain categories of) persons, rather than on their actions/omissions, in a way in which a principled criminal law should not do; and—second—in the sense that the criminalization of illegal immigrants represents a perversion of the criminal law, being a case in which criminal norms are (unjustifiably) used as means to attain extrapenal aims. (shrink)
This paper is about how best to understand the notion of ‘public wrongs’ in the longstanding idea that crimes are public wrongs. By contrasting criminal law with the civil laws of torts and contracts, it argues that ‘public wrongs’ should not be understood merely as wrongs that properly concern the public, but more specifically as those which the state, as the public, ought to punish. It then briefly considers the implications that this has on criminalization.
One of the first things striking readers of Criminal Law Conversations is its unusual methodology. The editors of this volume have put together 31 conversations around as many cutting edge and influential articles. This article considers critically some discussions representative of each of the book’s three parts: Principles, Doctrine, Administration and provide a glimpse of the richness and variety of Criminal Law Conversations.
The McNaughton rules for determining whether a person can be successfully defended on the grounds of mental incompetence were determined by a committee of the House of Lords in 1843. They arose as a consequence of the trial of Daniel McNaughton for the killing of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel’s secretary. In retrospect it is clear that McNaughton suffered from schizophrenia. The successful defence of McNaughton on the grounds of mental incompetence by his advocate Sir Alexander Cockburn involved a profound (...) shift in the criteria for such a defence, and was largely based on the then recently published scientific thesis of the great US psychiatrist Isaac Ray, entitled A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity. Subsequent discussion of this defence in the House of Lords led to the McNaughton rules, still the basis of the defence of mental incompetence in the courts of much of the English-speaking world. This essay considers one of these rules in the light of the discoveries of cognitive neuroscience made during the 160 years since Ray’s treatise. A major consideration is the relationship between the power of self-control and irresistible impulse as conceived by Cockburn on the one hand, and by cognitive neuroscience on the other. The essay concludes with an analysis of the notion of free will and of the extent to which a subject can exert restraint in the absence of particular synaptic connections in the brain. (shrink)
Criminal law commonly requires judges and juries to decide whether defendants acted reasonably. Nevertheless, issues of reasonableness fall into two distinct categories: (1) where reasonableness concerns events and states, including risks of which an actor is conscious, that can be justly assessed without regard to the actorâs individual traits, and (2) where reasonableness concerns culpable mental states and emotions that cannot justly be assessed without reference to the actorâs capacities. This distinction is significant because, while the reasonable person by (...) which category-1 cases are assessed is a disembodied and impersonal ideal that consists of nothing but the uncompromising values of the jurisdiction, the reasonable person by which category-2 cases are measured must necessarily incorporate some of an actorâs individual traits or risk blaming the blameless. Courts and commentators have thus far approached the task of individualizing or subjectivizing reasonableness in category 2 by trying to determine in advance which individual traits are generally relevant and which are not. I propose an alternative approach that, in addition to applying to negligence and voluntary manslaughter cases alike, derives its content from the social practice of blaming. I propose that a reasonable person in category-2 cases consists of every physical, psychological, and emotional trait an actor possesses, with one exceptionâthe exception being that he possesses proper respect for the values of the people of the state as reflected and incorporated in the statute at hand. (shrink)
Egyptians had many reasons to overthrow the government of Hosni Mubarak, and to challenge the legitimacy of the interim military government. Strikingly, among the leading reasons for the uprising and for continued protest are reasons grounded in criminal justice. Reflection on this dimension of the Egyptian uprising invites a broader examination of the relationship between criminal justice and political legitimacy. While criminal justice is neither necessary nor sufficient for political legitimacy, criminal injustice substantially undermines political legitimacy (...) and can provide independent reasons for revolution. A state may compromise its legitimacy by committing criminal acts, by perverting or subverting the criminal process, and by failing to discharge its duty to punish serious wrongdoing—a duty that then falls to individuals to discharge either directly (through vigilantism) or indirectly (through revolution). Contrary to the views of many leading criminal law theorists, the duty to punish serious wrongdoing applies to individuals and not only to states. The relevance of political legitimacy to criminal justice is more complicated. Individuals are morally obligated to follow the morally justified laws of an illegitimate state, but are not morally obligated to follow the morally unjustified laws of a legitimate state. Nor may any state punish in the absence of moral wrongdoing and moral fault. However, illegitimate states may be incapable of justly holding individuals accountable to the state, to the community, or to victims through criminal trials. This incapacity provides an additional reason to overthrow illegitimate states and replace them with legitimate states capable of justly administering a just criminal law. (shrink)