Obligations and Outcomes

Victor Tadros

in Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592814
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729034 | DOI:
Obligations and Outcomes

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This chapter investigates the significance of the outcomes of a person's conduct for punishment. It does so by comparing Antony Duff's view of punishment as a communicative enterprise with an alternative view, which sees punishment as grounded in the rectificatory duties that wrongdoers incur in virtue of their wrongdoing. It argues that the rectificatory view, like the communicative view, draws on the obligations that are incurred through wrongdoing, and suggests that the latter view has a more comprehensive account to give of those duties. This provides a more compelling account than Duff gives of the difference in the liability to be punished between those who cause harm through their wrongful conduct and those who do not. As there are special duties that one incurs by harming others, one may also be punished to a greater degree to ensure that those duties are enforced. The chapter also suggests some reasons why those who cause no harm through their wrongful conduct may nevertheless be punished to some lesser degree.

Keywords: harm; attempt; Duff; punishment; rectification; communication

Chapter.  11061 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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