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PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
PHIL_2031 CRIME & PUNISHMENT
Write a 1750 – 2500 word essay on one of the following topics.
Submit your essay electronically on MyUni (in Assignments, not in Turnitin).
Do NOT upload as a PDF file, use Word.doc file. Include your name somewhere on your submitted essay. Due date: 22April. Upload available to close of day.
READ GUIDELINES TO WRITING AN ESSAY IN PHILOSOPHY FIRST
Researching Your Essay
You are encouraged to research some of your own material if it is from a reliable, scholarly, academic source.
However you alsomust include some reading material set for the course that can be found in Canvas. Lecture notes and reading material may be used as a guide and framework provider.
Writing Your Essay
Format: Use at least 1.5 line spacing in a regular font. It is helpful to use informative sub-headings. Include an introduction where you set out your thesis statement outlining the main argument of your essay and briefly providing context, and a conclusion where you sum up what you have established and supported. Referencing must be consistent and in a recognised style: Harvard or Chicago preferably.
Content and Style: Make sure you answer the question and do not go off on irrelevant tangents. Explain and defend the claims you make whether your own ideas or in discussion of the theoretical views of others. Aim for clarity and succinctness without sacrificing depth of thought. Take yourself to be analysing and explaining ideas in order to weigh up and critically comment on those ideas.
- Analyse in some depth and detail what distinguishes criminal law from civil law. What are some important aims or purposes of or for criminal law that civil law could not meet? What morally justifies criminal law and why does it need moral “justification”? Are there better forms of societal response to harmful and anti-social conduct that bringing to bear the apparatus of criminal law and justice? Explain and defend your views.
Some suggested reading:
Husak, D. Criminal law theory
Husak, D. Why criminal law
Tadros, V. Architecture of criminalization
Hart, HM. The aims of criminal law
& L Zedner Defending the criminal law
- What is Mill’s ‘harm principle’? What role does the harm principle play in liberal legal theory? Is it adequate for this role? Should ‘offence’ be incorporated into a harm principle or added as the basis of an additional separate principle of criminalization, or be ruled out entirely as a basis of criminalization? Support your view with argument and examples.
Mill, JS On Liberty
Von Hirsch, A Harm to others. Offence to others. (Review of Feinberg.)
Stewart, H Limits of the harm principle.
Cohen-Almagor, R Harm principle, offence principle, & the Skokie affair
Simester, AP Rethinking the offence principle
- Can liberalism rule out all legal moralism in principle? Give some arguments both against and in support of making immorality or immoral behaviour the object of criminal laws. Which arguments do you find more compelling and why?
Devlin, P The enforcement of morality
Dworkin, G Devlin was right: Law and the enforcement of morality
Kuflik, A Liberalism, legal moralism, and moral disagreement
Wall, S Enforcing morality
Moore, M A tale of two theories
George, RP Moralistic liberalism and legal moralism
Murphy, JG Legal moralism and retribution revisited
- Is any type of paternalism a legitimate basis for criminalizing types of behaviour? Is criminalization of drugs on paternalist grounds compatible with liberalism? Support your answer with principles, arguments, and reasoning.
Hurd, H Paternalism on pain of punishment (Folders 2 & 3)
Pope, T Definition of hard paternalism (Folders 2& 3)
Husak, D Liberal neutrality, autonomy, and drug prohibitions (Fld. 3)
Husak, D Recreational drugs and paternalism (Folder 3)
Sher, G Decriminalizing drugs
- Are there any arguments compatible with liberalism could be made for the prohibition/regulation of pornography based on either: harm, offence, or liberalism itself? In particular examine the argument put by MacKinnon and discussed by Watson.
Feinberg, J Pornography and criminal law
Feinberg, J Pornography, feminism, and liberalism
MacKinnon, C Pornography, civil rights, and speech
Dworkin, G Equal respect and the enforcement of morality
Watson, L Pornography and public reason
Clark, L Pornography and liberalism