Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 21–38

Penal Coercion in Contexts of Social Injustice

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11572-010-9107-4

Cite this article as:
Gargarella, R. Criminal Law, Philosophy (2011) 5: 21. doi:10.1007/s11572-010-9107-4


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 JusticeSocial JusticeInequalityPunishmentFundamental rightsDemocracy

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Universidad Di Tella/CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina