What is the Criminal Law for?

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