Theories of Criminalization

Tatjana Hörnle

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law

Published in print November 2014 | ISBN: 9780199673599
Published online March 2015 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Theories of Criminalization

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This chapter examines theories of criminalization. It first considers the impact of constitutional law on criminalization and constitutional courts’ tendency to avoid declaring criminal prohibitions unconstitutional, democracy as a substitute for criminalization theory, and the link between criminalization theory and constitutional theory. It also discusses the doctrine of legal goods, the harm principle, and protection of the “rights of others,” moral values, and collective interests. Finally, the chapter explores what kind of conduct should be prevented under criminalization theory, with an emphasis on mediating principles regarding ultima ratio and attribution.

Keywords: criminalization; criminal law; constitutional law; constitutional courts; democracy; constitutional theory; doctrine of legal goods; harm principle; ultima ratio; attribution

Article.  10600 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Criminal Law ; Criminology

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