, Volume 32, Issue 2-3, pp 199-215
Date: 06 Nov 2012

The Duty to Protect the Victim – Or the Duty to Suffer Punishment?

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This paper addresses The Ends of Harm by Victor Tadros. In it, I attempted to explore some of the implications of Tadros’s theory of punishment, particularly those following from the uneasy relationship between punishment of the offender (D) and D’s duty to protect the victim (V) from future harm. Among my concerns were: the apparent underinclusiveness of Tadros’s theory of punishment; the vague and unpredictable scope of D’s liabilities; the taking away by the state of V’s right to be protected; and the lack of inherent limitations on the appropriate forms and amounts of punishment. I also questioned the true meaning of the duty incurred by D as a result of D’s wrongdoing and suggested that protection of Vs from future harm may not be as essential to Tadros’s justification of punishment as he has argued.

I would like to thank the participants of the Symposium devoted to The Ends of Harm hosted by the Institute for Law and Philosophy, Rutgers School of Law-Camden, for their thoughts and suggestions. My special thanks go to Kim Ferzan whose comments helped me to develop and clarify my arguments.