twelve: 1 MARCH 1972

  • Graham Burchell
Part of the Michel Foucault, Lectures at the Collège de France book series (MFL)


Summary: crises and social struggles of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries lead to the centralization of royal power and the setting up of a royal justice which appears in the institution of a Parlement. Three characteristics of State justice: universal, compulsory, delegated. ~ Two other measures: 1/ The development of cases coming under the king: extension of his jurisdiction with, as effects, a new definition of the kingdom-State and a new dimension of penality for breaches of public order. New domain of penality which sanctions breaking a rule stated by the public power. 2/ Establishment of royal procurators: extension of their role to indictment, with the consequences that every crime is an offense against the public power, and the king becomes both judge and interested party. ~ Double effect on the functioning of the penal system: (1) Separation of the penal and the civil; (2) replacement of war and redress by obedience and punishment. Penality is organized by reference to a political structure. Crime becomes an attack on the public power. Opposition between political crime and common law crime as central component of the penality of the nineteenth century, concealing the political function of the penal system.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Burchell
    • 1
  1. 1.FanoItaly

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