Autonomy, coercion and the limits of criminal law (in the Joseph Raz's philosophy of law) Cover Image

Autonomia – przymus – granice karania (uwagi na tle filozofii Josepha Raza)
Autonomy, coercion and the limits of criminal law (in the Joseph Raz's philosophy of law)

Author(s): Michał Peno
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Civil Law, Philosophy of Law
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego
Keywords: theory of punishment; Joseph Raz; liberal state and coercion; harm principle; personal autonomy; punishment

Summary/Abstract: This paper suggests that Raz’s concept of autonomy can be used in the philosophy of criminal law. Certainly, criminal law has limits. ‘Harm principle’ is one of the most important proposals for principled limits to the criminal law. Joseph Raz uses the harm principle in the context of the concept of the personal autonomy. It can be seen that his theory explains (partly) the problem of the justification of punishment and its limits (in the liberal societies). It is possible to justify the criminal law (or punishment) as an method of protection ‘collective goods’, and even liberal and democratic ordo iuris. It can be said that the law must be in some sense neutral. On the other hand, Raz claims the law must protect personal autonomy. This paper suggests that according to Raz’sphilosophy of law a state might use criminal law to promote this morality which is coherent with the concept of the person as an autonomous (self-government) agent. Moreover, the article briefly examines three problems connected with punishment, i.e. axiological pluralism, paternalism and legal moralism, and their consequences for the practice of punishment (in the context of criminal policy).

  • Issue Year: 16/2016
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 93-112
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish