• Defending a communicative theory of punishment: the relationship between hard treatment and amends

      Lee, Ambrose Y. K.; University of Oxford, Centre for Criminology (Oxford University Press, 2016-03-27)
      According to communicative theories of punishment, legal punishment is pro tanto justified because it communicates the censure that offenders deserve for their crimes. The aim of this article is to offer a modest defence for a particular version of a communicative theory. This version builds on the one that has been advanced by Antony Duff. According to him, legal punishment should be understood as a kind of (secular) penitential burden that is placed upon offenders to censure them for their crimes, with the aims that they will then come to repent, reform themselves and reconcile with those whom they have wronged. This article departs from Duff’s version, however, by arguing that the penitential burdens in question should be understood more specifically in terms of the amends that offenders ought to make to apologise for their criminal wrongdoings. The article then attempts to address three potential objections to this revised version of the communicative theory.
    • Legal coercion, respect & reason-responsive agency

      Lee, Ambrose Y. K.; University of Oxford, Centre for Criminology (Springer, 2013)
      Legal coercion seems morally problematic because it is susceptible to the Hegelian objection that it fails to respect individuals in a way that is ‘due to them as men’. But in what sense does legal coercion fail to do so? And what are the grounds for this requirement to respect? This paper is an attempt to answer these questions. It argues that (a) legal coercion fails to respect individuals as reason-responsive agents; and (b) individuals ought to be respected as such in virtue of the fact that they are human beings. Thus it is in this sense that legal coercion fails to treat individuals with the kind of respect ‘due to them as men’.
    • Public wrongs and the criminal law

      Lee, Ambrose Y. K.; University of Oxford, Centre for Criminology (Springer, 2013-03-05)
      This paper is about how best to understand the notion of ‘public wrongs’ in the longstanding idea that crimes are public wrongs. By contrasting criminal law with the civil laws of torts and contracts, it argues that ‘public wrongs’ should not be understood merely as wrongs that properly concern the public, but more specifically as those which the state, as the public, ought to punish. It then briefly considers the implications that this has on criminalization.