Every modern democratic state imprisons thousands of offenders every year, depriving them of their liberty, causing them a great deal of psychological and sometimes physical harm. Relationships are destroyed, jobs are lost, the risk of the offender being harmed by other offenders is increased and all at great expense to the state.
How can this brutal and costly enterprise be justified? Traditionally, philosophers answering this question have argued either that the punishment of wrongdoers is a good in itself (retributivism), or that it is a regrettable means to a valuable end, such as the deterrence of future wrongdoing, and thus justifiable on consequentialist grounds. This book offers a critical examination of those theories and advances a new argument for punishment's justification, calling it the 'duty view'. On this view, the permission to punish offenders is grounded in the duties that they incur in virtue of their wrongdoing. The most important duties that ground the justification of punishment are the duty to recognize that the offender has done wrong and the duty to protect others against wrongdoing. In the light of these duties the state has a permission to punish offenders to ensure that they recognize that what they have done is wrong, but also to protect others from crime.
1: Introduction The Aims of Punishment 2: Justifying Punishment 3: Recognition and Choice 4: Against Desert 5: The Limits of Communication Means, Motivations, and Ends 6: Defending the Means Principle 7: Wrongdoing and Motivation Permissibility, Harm, and Self-Defence 8: Choice, Responsibility, and Permissible Harm 9: Conflicts and Permissibility 10: Mistakes and Self-Defence 11: Responsibility and Self-Defence Punishment and the Duties of Offenders 12: Punishment as a Remedy 13: State Punishment 14: Protection Against Punishment 15: Proportionate Punishment
Victor Tadros is Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Warwick. Prior to his appointment at Warwick he held positions at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. He has written on criminal responsibility, criminal offences, criminal trials, the presumption of innocence, just war theory, and various aspects of moral and political philosophy. He is currently engaged in a major project on criminalization with Antony Duff, Lindsay Farmer, Sandra Marshall, and Massimo Renzo, funded by the AHRC for which he is currently writing a book entitled Wrongs and Crimes.
Reviews for The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law
I admire the ambition, the scope, and the ingenuity of Tadross Duty Theory of punishment. * Hamish Stewart, Criminal Law and Philosophy *