What is the Criminal Law for?

Law and Philosophy 35 (2):137-163 (2016)
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Abstract

The traditional distinction between retributive and distributive justice misconstrues the place of the criminal law in modern regulatory states. In the context of the regulatory state, the criminal law is a coercive rule-enforcing institution – regardless of whether it also serves the ends of retributive justice. As a rule-enforcing institution, the criminal law is deeply implicated in stabilizing the institutions and legal rules by means of which a state creates and allocates social advantage. As a coercive institution, the criminal law requires justification as an instance of legitimate state authority. The operation of criminal justice institutions should therefore not be evaluated by reference to a distinct set of criteria, but should be evaluated by the same criteria that apply to coercive public institutions generally.

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References found in this work

Criminal law as public law.Malcolm Thorburn - 2011 - In Antony Duff & Stuart P. Green (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 21--43.
Against the asymmetry of desert.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):518–536.
Republicanism and the foundations of criminal law.R. Dagger - 2011 - In Antony Duff & Stuart P. Green (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 44--66.
Scheffler on Rawls, justice, and desert.Eugene Mills - 2004 - Law and Philosophy 23 (3):261-272.

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