Punishment and Freedom

Paperback | March 8, 2012

byAlan Brudner

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This book sets out a new understanding of the penal law of a liberal legal order. The prevalent view today is that the penal law is best understood from the standpoint of a moral theory concerning when it is fair to blame and censure an individual character for engaging in proscribed conduct.By contrast, this book argues that the penal law is best understood by a political and constitutional theory about when it is permissible for the state to restrain and confine a free agent. The book's thesis is that penal action by public officials is permissible force rather than wrongful violence only if it could be accepted by the agent as being consistent with its freedom. There are, however, different conceptions of freedom, and each informs a theoretical paradigm of penal justicegenerating distinctive constraints on state coercion. Although this plurality of paradigms creates an appearance of fragmentation and contradiction in the law, the author argues that the penal law forms a complex whole uniting the constraints on punishment flowing from each paradigm.

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This book sets out a new understanding of the penal law of a liberal legal order. The prevalent view today is that the penal law is best understood from the standpoint of a moral theory concerning when it is fair to blame and censure an individual character for engaging in proscribed conduct.By contrast, this book argues that the penal...

Alan Brudner is Albert Abel Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He holds a law degree from the University of Toronto, where he also received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Political Science. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and a Visiting Professor at the He...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:March 8, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199652333

ISBN - 13:9780199652334

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Punishment2. Culpable Mind3. Culpable Action4. Responsibility for Harm5. Liability for Public Welfare Offences6. Justification7. Excuse8. Detention After Acquittal9. The Unity of the Penal LawConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Alan Brudner has produced a rare and beautiful work of scholarship. He gives us nothing less than a comprehensive theory of the criminal law, with answers to almost all, if not all, the questions that commonly preoccupy its students. The scope of Brudner's study is breath-taking ...Hegel'swork inspires Brudner's theory, but anyone can understand Brudner's theory without misunderstanding Hegel, though I suspect that the more one appreciates Hegel, the better one can appreciate Brudner...Brudner's theory of the criminal law is an intellectual delight, in which i hope every student ofthe criminal law will allow themselves to indulge." --Stephen P. Garvey, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Cornell Law School, University of Toronto Law Journal