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24 - Punishment in the Rule of Law

from Part V - Trajectories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2021

Jens Meierhenrich
Affiliation:
London School of Economics
Martin Loughlin
Affiliation:
London School of Economics
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Summary

State punishment, understood as hard treatment or the restriction of the liberty of the individual, has been central to modern debates about the rule of law. As a form of “dramatically coercive and burdensome” state action against the individual, punishment raises distinctive issues about the relationship between a state and its citizens, and as such requires particular justification.1 These questions of justification are typically seen as questions of who may be punished, and for what, the identification of legitimate and illegitimate forms of punishment, and indeed of the processes that must consequently be respected by the state if it is to impose justified punishment.2 It can therefore be seen that these questions are important not only in terms of justifying actual inflictions of punishment on particular individuals, but also in terms of legitimizing the institution of punishment more broadly.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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