Analytical Study On Over Criminalization and the Impact on Criminal Law

Pranav Ranga


The criminal law is the most coercive institution of social control in the modern liberal state. It criminalizes conduct, prosecutes individuals, and treats offenders in ways that under other circumstance we would consider as serious violations of individuals’ rights. At a time when this institution has been described as a lost cause serving immoral ends, it is all the more urgent to provide a normative account of the criminal law’s limits and scope of action. A starting point of this thesis is that any successful normative account of the criminal law must ground penal principles and practices in an explicit, and sufficiently delimited, political philosophy. This thesis does just that: it advances an account of the criminal law and criminalization that derive from central premises of classical liberalism. An account shaped by such liberal values and premises is capable of responding successfully to one of the most urgent predicaments of the criminal law today; that is, the abuse of coercive power by the state through the enactment of criminal statutes. This is the problem of over criminalization


over criminalization, liberalism, Criminal Law

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