The principle that a sentence should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence remains at the centre of penal practice and scholarly debate. This volume explores highly topical aspects of proportionality theory that require examination and further analysis. von Hirsch and Ashworth explore the relevance of the principle of proportionality to the sentencing of young offenders, the possible reasons for departing from the principle when sentencing dangerous offenders, and the application of the principle to socially deprived offenders. They examine (...) the claim that the principle tends to be associated with greater severity in sentencing, and explore the relevance of penance and of restorative justice to proportionality theory. Their examination of arguments and counter-arguments culminates in a re-statement of the main criteria for proportionate sentencing.The authors are well known for their previous writings on proportionality theory, and this volume broadens the theory to deal with important contemporary issues in crime and punishment. (shrink)
This book arises from a three-year study of Preventive Justice directed by Professor Andrew Ashworth and Professor Lucia Zedner at the University of Oxford. The study seeks to develop an account of the principles and values that should guide and limit the state's use of preventive techniques that involve coercion against the individual. States today are increasingly using criminal law or criminal law-like tools to try to prevent or reduce the risk of anticipated future harm. Such measures include criminalizing conduct (...) at an early stage in order to allow authorities to intervene; incapacitating suspected future wrongdoers; and imposing extended sentences or indefinate on past wrongdoers on the basis of their predicted future conduct - all in the name of public protection and security. The chief justification for the state's use of coercion is protecting the public from harm. Although the rationales and justifications of state punishment have been explored extensively, the scope, limits and principles of preventive justice have attracted little doctrinal or conceptual analysis. This book re-assesses the foundations for the range of coercive measures that states now take in the name of prevention and public protection, focussing particularly on coercive measures involving deprivation of liberty. It examines whether these measures are justified, whether they distort the proper boundaries between criminal and civil law, or whether they signal a larger change in the architecture of security. In so doing, it sets out to establish a framework for what we call 'Preventive Justice'. (shrink)
Recent years have seen mounting challenge to the model of the criminal trial on the grounds it is not cost-effective, not preventive, not necessary, not appropriate, or not effective. These challenges have led to changes in the scope of the criminal law, in criminal procedure, and in the nature and use of criminal trials. These changes include greater use of diversion, of fixed penalties, of summary trials, of hybrid civilâcriminal processes, of strict liability, of incentives to plead guilty, and of (...) preventive orders. The paper will assess the implications of these changes for the function of the criminal law, assessing the reasons behind them, and examining whether or not they are to be welcomed. Identifying the larger import of these changes draws attention to the changing relationship between state and citizen as well as changes in the nature of the state itself. These can in turn be attributed to a jostling among the different manifestations of the authoritarian state, the preventive state, and the regulatory state. These changes have profound normative implications for a liberal theory of the criminal law that require its re-articulation and its defence. A modest start may be to insist that where the conduct is criminal and the consequences are punitive the protections of criminal procedure and trial must be upheld. (shrink)
This is a study of possession offences, with the focus on those intended to penalise the risk of a serious harm. Offences of this kind are examined in the light of basic doctrines of the criminal law, and in the light of the proper limits of endangerment offences. They are found wanting in both respects, and are also found to pose particular sentencing problems. The conclusion is that many risk-based possession offences are unfair, save those that require proof of a (...) further intent or those aimed at a failure properly to safeguard a dangerous object. (shrink)
Are preventive justice measures justified? Do they needlessly blur the boundaries between criminal and civil law, signalling a change in the architecture of security? The contributors in this volume re-assess the foundations for the range of coercive measures that states now take in the name of prevention and public protection.
This is the first book in recent years to reconsider the shape and details of the English law of homicide, a topic avoided by governments in their plans for law reform. It discusses how the law should define murder, how it should respond to provoked killings, how it should deal with mentally abnormal killers, etc.
The Oxford Monographs On Criminal Law And Justice series aims to cover all aspects of criminal law and procedure including criminal evidence. the scope of the series is wide, encompassing both practical and theoretical works. Series Editor: Professor Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law, All Souls College, Oxford. This volume is a thematic collection of essays on sentencing theory by leading writers. The essays fall into three groups. Part I considers the underlying justifications for the imposition of punishment by (...) the State, and examines the relationship between victims, offenders and the State. Part II addresses a number of areas of sentencing policy that have given rise to particular difficulty, such as the sentencing of drug offenders, the rationale for discounting sentences for multiple offenders, the existence of special sentencing for young offenders, and cases where the injury done to the victim is of a different magnitude from what might have been expected. Part III raises various questions about the unequal impact on offenders of different sentencing measures, and examines the extent to which sentences should be adjusted to take account of these different impacts and of broader social inequalities. This volume is dedicated to Professor Andrew von Hirsch, whose continuing work on sentencing theory provided the stimulus for the collection. (shrink)