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Placing BlameA Theory of the Criminal Law$
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Michael S. Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599493.001.0001

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A Non-Exclusionary Theory of Legislative Aim: Taking Aim at Moral Wrongdoing

A Non-Exclusionary Theory of Legislative Aim: Taking Aim at Moral Wrongdoing

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(p.639) 16 A Non-Exclusionary Theory of Legislative Aim: Taking Aim at Moral Wrongdoing
Source:
Placing Blame
Author(s):

Michael Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599493.003.0016

A theory of criminal legislation should tell us what the criminal law should prohibit. Part of that theory should give an answer to the question of legislative motivation: what should the legislative be trying to achieve by prohibiting some actions and not others? A taxonomy of such theories is developed from John Stuart Mill, and then a different, and simpler, taxonomy is substituted for Mill’s. I argue in favour of one entrant in this revised taxonomy, the ‘non-exclusionary’ entrant, concluding that a retributivist legislator should be aiming to prohibit all and only moral wrongdoing in his legislation (for only such wrongdoing is the fit subject of retributive punishment).

Keywords:   harm principle, harms to others, harms to self, harmless wrongs, offense to others, legal moralism, utilitarianism

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