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Republicanism And The Foundations Of Criminal Law, Richard Dagger Jan 2011

Republicanism And The Foundations Of Criminal Law, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

This chapter makes a case for the republican tradition in political philosophy as a theory that can provide a rational reconstruction of criminal law. It argues that republicanism offers a reconstruction of criminal law that is both rational and plausible. In particular, it shows that republicanism can help us to make sense of three important features of criminal law: first, the conviction that crime is a public wrong; second, the general pattern of development of criminal law historically; and third, the public nature of criminal law as a cooperative enterprise. To begin, however, it explains what republicanism is and why ...


Play Fair With Punishment, Richard Dagger Apr 1993

Play Fair With Punishment, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

If we want to provide a justification for legal punishment, then, we must answer two distinct questions: (1) What justifies punishment as a social practice? and (2) What justifies punishing particular persons? The principle of fair play is an especially attractive theory of punishment, I shall agree, because it offers plausible and compelling answers to both these questions. I shall also suggest that there is a third question - How should we punish those who commit crimes? - that fair play cannot answer without help from other sources.