For a Comprehensive Theory

John Braithwaite and Philip Pettit

in Not Just Deserts

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240563
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680205 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

For a Comprehensive Theory

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Chapter 1 expressed some initial reservations about how narrow theories of punishment foster an inclination to view punishment as the only appropriate response to crime. This chapter argues that what is needed to address this, and a number of additional problems, is a comprehensive normative theory of the criminal justice system. ‘Comprehensive’ means a theory which will give an integrated account of what ought to be done by the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive in regard to the key policy questions raised by the criminal justice system. The chapter identifies ten such questions. After each question it briefly suggests some of the issues and institutions implicated in answering the question.

Keywords: criminal justice system; punishment; normative theory; crime; legal theory

Chapter.  4631 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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