The Restoration of Retribution

John Finnis

in Human Rights and Common Good

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580071
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729393 | DOI:
The Restoration of Retribution

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This chapter shows how Hart's account of restorative justice in relation to torts, in The Concept of Law, suggests an account of retributive justice in relation to crimes. Such an account is partially developed by Jeffrie Murphy, but needs the completion that is afforded when what the offender gains in the act of offending is correctly identified, along with the responsiveness of punishment precisely to that gain. Punishment has as its general justifying aim the restoration of the fair balance of advantages and disadvantages between citizens that was disrupted by the crime (when committed with full mensrea). The relations between this account and the different accounts of punishment's aim by Aquinas, Kant, and utilitarianism are traced.

Keywords: restorative justice; retribution; justifying aim; Jeffrie Murphy; Aquinas; Kant; utilitarianism

Chapter.  2668 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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