Details

Criminalising Harmful Conduct


Criminalising Harmful Conduct

The Harm Principle, its Limits and Continental Counterparts

von: Nina Persak

118,99 €

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 04.06.2007
ISBN/EAN: 9780387464046
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 160

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Beschreibungen

This book explores the issue of legitimate criminalization in a modern, liberal society. It argues that criminalization should be limited by normative principles, defining the substance of what can be legitimately proscribed. Coverage provides a comparative study between two major criminal legal systems and its theories: the Anglo-American, on one side, and the Continental criminal legal system of Germanic legal circle, on the other.
Dr. Nina Peršak’s work addresses the criteria for criminalisation – that is, the criteria that should be employed in determinations whether to prohibit conduct through the criminal law. It is explicitly normative in approach, examining what should be the proper basis for criminalisation, rather than what factors legislatures actually tend to consider in adopting criminal prohibitions. Its focus is on the Harm Principle, that has been developed in Anglo-American philosophy of criminal law and on how this principal might illuminate the Continental debate on criminalisation. As such, this is a work on normative criminal law theory. Hitherto, there has existed no extended English-language treatment, comparing Anglo-American and Continental theories of criminalisation. An important strength of Dr. Peršak’s analysis lies in success in integrating themes from the two bodies of theory, the Anglo-American and the Con- nental. She begins with the Harm Principle and scrutinises its main criterion: the conduct’s intrusion into the interests of other persons. She undertakes a careful dissection of this criterion: e.g., what constitutes ‘harm’ and what is the scope of ‘others’ (and whether and to what extent the latter includes collective interests). This discussion provides not only a thoughtful analysis of the Harm Principle itself; it also provides her with the basis of her critique, later in the volume, of Continental criminalisation theories.
I. Introduction The thesis’ starting point and aim The method The structure The main starting hypotheses II. Criminalisation III. Grounds for (principles of) criminalisation Anglo-American legal system Legitimisation of the State Balancing approach Principled approach 1. Harm principle 2. Offence principle 3. Legal paternalism 4. Legal moralism Limitations on the principles of criminalisation Continental legal system Evaluation The legitimate grounds IV. Harm principle – A comparative analysis The definition of the harm principle Mill’s ‘Principle of Liberty’ Feinberg’s ‘Harm Principle’ The elements of the harm principle State intervention Causes or likely to cause (harm) (Harm) to others Mediating maxims The notion of ‘harm’ and translation equivalents The Anglo-American system 1. The formulation (the concept) 2. The substance (the conception) and the categorising of harm/seriousness of crime 3. Harm – victim 4. The a contrario and relational definition The Continental system – with emphasis on Slovenian and German criminal law The functions of the harm principle Limiting and delimiting A tool for criminal policy An aid to other criminal legal principles A post-delictum tool The nature of the harm principle Problems and open questions of the harm principle Problems with ‘harm’ Relationship harm – culpability The indeterminate scope 1. Self-regarding v. Other-regarding area 2. Not a ‘sufficient’ reason Potential for abuse (abusability of the harm principle) Some other criticisms Limitingfactors/principles V. Continental counterparts to the Anglo-American concept of the harm principle The Continental ‘general paradigm of the criminal offence’ Material unlawfulness – Wrong(ful)ness – Rechtswidrigkeit (Social) dangerousness Legal goods (Rechtsgüter) 1. The concept 2. The juxtaposition with the concept of harm 3. The history 4. Various schools of Rechtsgut theorists 5. The ‘legality’ of legal goods 6. Additional questions 7. Evaluation Classical criminal legal principles The legality principle The ultima ratio principle Proscribed consequence VI. Conclusion – Final evaluation The absence of a counterpart The appeal of the harm principle (In)sufficiency of the principle Feasibility of reception The mode of reception VII. Some criminological afterthoughts VIII. Bibliography
What are the limits to criminalisation? Is insult harmful or just offensive? What is wrong with criminalising disrespect to state symbols? Should criminal codes be moral codes? Criminalising Harmful Conduct addresses the issue of legitimate criminalisation in a modern liberal society. It argues that criminalisation, as one of the most intrusive state interventions into the autonomous sphere of the individual, should be limited by normative principles, defining the substance of what can be legitimately proscribed. In part, it is a comparative study between two major criminal legal systems (its theories), the Anglo-American, on one side, and the Continental criminal legal system of Germanic legal circle, on the other. Moreover, the book explores a model structure of the ideal criminalisation in respect of the principles and other criteria that should be followed to render the outcome justifiable. The model‘s central element is the Anglo-American principle called the ‘harm principle’, which is elaborated upon, its main elements (particularly ‘harm’) and functions analysed, and some controversial open questions tackled. Further limits on the harm principle are proposed. An in-depth analysis of four Continental legal concepts, which would on the face of it seem as counterparts to the harm principle, reveals that the overlap is not complete. The concept of ‘legal good’ shows the most potential and is thus examined in more detail. As it might be desirable to adopt the harm principle in the Continent, some practical ideas on how to achieve that are also mentioned.
Moves beyond analytical and descriptive
Introduces a substantive principle of criminalisation into the Continental criminal legal theory
The only comparative (Anglo-American v. Continental) book on criminalisation in English
This book explores the issue of legitimate criminalization in a modern, liberal society. It argues that criminalization, as one of the most intrusive state interventions into the autonomous sphere of the individual, should be limited by normative principles, defining the substance of what can be legitimately proscribed. Coverage provides a comparative study between two major criminal legal systems and its theories: the Anglo-American, on one side, and the Continental criminal legal system of Germanic legal circle, on the other. In addition, the book offers a model structure of the ideal criminalization in respect of the principles and other criteria that should be followed to render the outcome justifiable. Legal scholars interested in criminology, criminal law and legal philosophy will greatly value this book.

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