Criminal Law and the Promise of Self-Government


Ringvorlesung des Exzellenzclusters "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen": Criminal Justice between Purity and Pluralism - Strafrechtspflege zwischen Purismus und Pluralität

Malcolm Thorburn (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law)

12. Juli 2017, 18.15 Uhr

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum, HZ11

Abstract
Modern international law has been dominated by the principle of national self-determination. The idea that each people has the right to establish its own government and through it to  set  the  basic  terms of interaction within  its  jurisdiction, has become the beginning (if not the end)  of every argument about international affairs. In this climate, one might expect the old rule of law idea of criminal law to  thrive. For this is the idea of criminal law as the mechanism through which the state reasserts its sole authority over the terms of interaction within it jurisdiction. In fact, however, the old rule of law idea of criminal law has almost disappeared  from view. The boundaries between criminal law and ordinary tools of  state  policy  have  all  but disappeared; procedural differences between criminal justice and other processes have faded; and even the state’s monopoly on criminal law jurisdiction has given way to a variety of international and transnational actors who have assumed the power to make criminal laws.
Criminal law theory has tried hard to keep up with developments. Some writers have turned to a universalist moral discourse: criminal law identifies serious moral wrongdoing that anyone has  the standing to identify, to censure and to punish. Others have turned to a romantic vision of criminal law of each jurisdiction as the embodiment of the “Volksgeist” of its people. The roots of criminal law in the idea of self-government under the rule of law have become obscure. This lecture will explore what is lost and what (if anything) is gained from these developments.

CV

Malcolm Thorburn is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Toronto. He studied philosophy at the University of Toronto and the University of Pennsylvania, and law at  the  University  of Toronto and Columbia University from which he received his doctorate in law in  2008. Until 2012, he held the Canada Research Chair in Crime, Security and Constitutionalism at  Queen’s  University,  Canada.  He served as Law Clerk to Mr. Justice Louis LeBel at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000-2001. He has held visiting fellowships at the Australian  National University (2008), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (2011), the French National Centre for Criminology (CESDIP) (2011) and  Magdalen  College, Oxford (2011-2012). His writing focuses on theoretical issues in and around criminal justice and constitutional theory. He is an editor of two books: The Philosophical Foundations of Constitutional Law and The Dignity of Law. His work has appeared in such publications as the Yale Law Journal, the Boston University Law Review, the University of Toronto Law Journal, Criminal Law and Philosophy and many book collections. He is the book reviews editor of the University of Toronto Law Journal and he serves on the editorial boards of the journals Law and Philosophy, and Criminal Law and Philosophy, and the New Criminal Law Review.

 

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Veranstalter:
Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen"


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