Advertisement

On Dignity Principles of Criminalization: A Critical Discussion

  • Thomas Søbirk Petersen
Chapter
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 134)

Abstract

Dissatisfied with traditional principles of criminalization, including versions of the harm principle and the offence principle, some theorists who would not categorize themselves as legal moralists have proposed an alternative approach to criminalization based on respect for human dignity. This chapter discusses this approach. The relevant dignity principle is captured by the general idea that violation of human dignity is either a necessary condition of criminalization or gives us sufficient reason to criminalize conduct (or both). Although it is easy to sympathize with this idea, the primary aim of this chapter is to argue that recent attempts to justify fail. Several Kantian interpretations of the dignity principle of criminalization are outlined and criticized. A non-Kantian interpretation of a dignity principle of criminalization is also introduced and critically discussed.

References

  1. Baker DJ (2011) The right not to be criminalized: demarcating criminal law’s authority. Ashgate Publishing Limited, FarnhamGoogle Scholar
  2. Bostrom N (2009) Dignity and enhancement. Contemp Read Law Soc Justice 1(2):84–115Google Scholar
  3. Buchhandler-Raphael M (2013) Drugs, dignity, and danger. Human dignity as a constitutional constraint to limit overcriminalization. Tenn Law Rev 80:291–345Google Scholar
  4. Dan-Cohen M (2002) Defending dignity. UC Berkeley Shool Law Public Law Leg. Theory Reserach Pap. No. 92, 2002Google Scholar
  5. Dan-Cohen M (2016) Normative subjects: self and collectivity in morality and law, Chapter 7. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duff RA (2014) Towards a modest legal moralism. Crim Law Philos 8(1):217–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duff RA (2018) The realm of criminal law. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Duff RA et al (2010) The boundaries of the criminals law. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feinberg J (1984) Harm to others. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Feinberg J (1985) Offense to others. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. Feinberg J (1986) Harm to self. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Feinberg J (1988) Harmless wrongdoing. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Feldman F (2010) Pleasure and the good life. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Gardner J (2007) Offences and defences: selected essays in the philosophy of criminal law. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gerstein RS (1974) Capital punishment – “cruel and unusual?”A retributivist response. Ethics 85(1):75–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guerrero A (2016) Appropriately using people merely as a means. Crim Law Philos 10(4):777–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill TE, Zweig A (2002) Kant: groundwork for the metaphysics of morals. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Holtug N (2002) The harm principle. Ethical Theory Moral Pract 5(4):357–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hörnle T (2012) Criminalizing behaviour to protect human dignity. Crim Law Philos 6(3):307–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Husak D (2008) Overcriminalization. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  21. Kagan S (1998) Normative ethics. Westview Press, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  22. Kamm FM (2007) Intricate ethics: rights, responsibilities, and permissible harm. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kamm FM (2013) Bioethical prescriptions. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kant I (1785) Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals. 2002. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Kass L (2002) Life, liberty, and defence of dignity: a challenge for bioethics. Encounter Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Kleinig J (1998) The hardness of harsh treatment. In: Ashworth A, Wasik M (eds) Fundamentals of sentencing theory. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Lippert-Rasmussen K (2005) Deontology, responsibility, and equality. University of Copenhagen Press, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  28. Mill JS (1859/2015) On liberty, utilitarianism, and other essays. Oxford University, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  29. Moore M (1997) Placing blame. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. Parfit D (2011) On what matters, volume one. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Petersen TS (2010) Punishment and dignity. In: Ryberg J, Corlett JA (eds) Punishment and ethics. Palgrave Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Schroeder D, Bani-Sadr A (2017) Dignity in the twenty-first century: Middle east and west. Springer Publishing, BasingstokeGoogle Scholar
  33. Simester AP, Von Hirsch A (2011) Crimes, harms, and wrongs: on the principles of criminalization. Bloomsbury Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  34. Tadros V (2016) Wrongs and crimes. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Waldron J (2012) Dignity, rank, and rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Søbirk Petersen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RoskildeRoskildeDenmark

Personalised recommendations