Criminal Law and Civil Society: Law and Morality

Neil MacCormick

in Institutions of Law

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780198267911
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191714832 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

 Criminal Law and Civil Society: Law and Morality

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  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


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This chapter reviews the most essential functions of law, including criminal law, within a contemporary constitutional state. It suggests that the most basic demand citizens ought to make of criminal law is that it contributes to securing the conditions of civility and social peace, thus sustaining civil society. This, however, cannot be a function of the criminal law alone, for without social justice the conditions of solidarity and civility are not capable of being achieved. Criminal law and public law have to work in tandem, and cannot work at all to these ends without background social conditions that the law does not establish, but which it can damage.

Keywords: crimes; legal moralism; corporate crimes; social justice; public law

Chapter.  7652 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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