Principles of Criminal Liability from the Semiotic Point of View

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 34 (2):561-578 (2020)
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Abstract

Certainly principles of criminal liability may be understood as rules or norms outlining orders or prohibitions and standing out among other norms with their weight, for legal culture, legal doctrine, etc. In such a classic approach they are norms defining basic rights and obligations in the applicable criminal law. However, is it the only possible and cognitively interesting meaning of the word “principle” in jurisprudence? From the semiotic point of view, they can occur in three forms: special-kind norms, teleological directives, rules which constitute valid performance of conventional activities. In an extra-directival sense these principles may be understood as models-descriptions of shaping the system of criminal law. From a theoretical and practical point of view principles addressed to the legislator are extremely weighty—they can be called rules constructing the system of criminal liability. These all problems are discussed in the article.

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Michal Peno
Uniwersytet Szczeciński

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