Original Paper

Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 21-38

First online:

Penal Coercion in Contexts of Social Injustice

  • Roberto GargarellaAffiliated withUniversidad de Buenos AiresUniversidad Di Tella/CONICET Email author 

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This article addresses the theoretical difficulty of justifying the use of penal coercion in circumstances of marked, unjustified social inequality. The intuitive belief behind the text is that in such a context—that of an indecent State—justifying penal coercion becomes very problematic, particularly when directed against the most disfavored members of society.


Criminal Justice Social Justice Inequality Punishment Fundamental rights Democracy