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Conscience and ConvictionThe Case for Civil Disobedience$
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Kimberley Brownlee

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592944.001.0001

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(p.239) 8 Punishment
Conscience and Conviction

Kimberley Brownlee

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter continues the discussion of punishment by showing that civil disobedients have a moral right not to be punished. This right protects against both concretely burdensome hard treatment and symbolic censure. It puts a negative moral gloss on any lawful punishment of civil disobedience as something that wrongs the civil disobedient. That said, this moral right is not absolute. In some cases, there may be moral grounds for overriding it and communicating censure for the breach of law. But, in general, the reasons to respect the right recommend a non-punitive restorative approach that clearly distinguishes civil disobedients from ordinary offenders.

Keywords:   punishment, rights, liberty, penalisation, symbolic censure

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