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Principles and Values in Criminal Law and Criminal JusticeEssays in Honour of Andrew Ashworth$
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Lucia Zedner and Julian V. Roberts

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696796.001.0001

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Proportionate Sentencing and the Rule of Law

Proportionate Sentencing and the Rule of Law

(p.269) 16 Proportionate Sentencing and the Rule of Law
Principles and Values in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Malcolm Thorburn

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on two of Ashworth's most cherished principles of criminal justice: the ‘strong proportionality principle’ and the ‘state monopoly principle’. It argues that, taken together, these two principles set out a jurisdictional conception of criminal sentencing. That is, unlike most of his contemporaries who have jumped immediately to the question of how best to justify the punishment of criminal offenders, Ashworth has seen that such questions may only be asked meaningfully once we have settled two conceptually prior questions: Who has jurisdiction to impose criminal punishment? And, what, specifically, do criminal punishers have the jurisdiction to do?

Keywords:   criminal justice, strong proportionality principle, state monopoly principle, criminal sentencing, punishment, jurisdiction

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