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 Justice Social Justice Inequality Punishment Fundamental rights Democracy 

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

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