Chapter

Criminal Wrongs in Historical Perspective<sup>*</sup>

Lindsay Farmer

in The Boundaries of the Criminal Law

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199600557
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729171 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600557.003.0009

Series: Criminalization

Criminal Wrongs in Historical Perspective*

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This chapter focuses on the concepts of wrong and wrongdoing, rather than on the concept of harm. But while much of the current literature has tended to revolve around the question of what role wrongdoing plays in the public definition and condemnation of criminal behaviour, it is argued that this question is too general. In order for the notion of wrongdoing to be of assistance in developing an account of criminalization, it must be framed within a detailed examination of how the wrongness of any particular crime (or group of crimes) manifests itself in different times and places. The chapter illustrates how the content of the notions of wrongness and wrongdoing has changed over time in relation to different crimes. It concludes that only by paying attention to these changes will we be able to employ these notions usefully to provide a solid ground foran adequate theory of criminalization.

Keywords: crime; criminalization; criminal behaviour; wrongdoing

Chapter.  12296 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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