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Bureaucratic ‘criminal’ law: too much of a bad thing?

Horder, Jeremy (2014) Bureaucratic ‘criminal’ law: too much of a bad thing? In: Duff, R A, Farmer, Lindsay, Marshall, S E, Renzo, Massimo and Tadros, Victor, (eds.) Criminalization: The Political Morality of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press USA, New York, NY, 101 - 131. ISBN 9780198726357

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Identification Number: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198726357.003.0004


This chapter argues for the legitimacy of ‘regulatory’ criminal law. Historically more significant as a feature of statecraft than its critics have been prepared to admit, the chapter defends a number of the controversial characteristics of such law. Such features include its tendency to come in the form of numerous discrete offences (where the common law was satisfied with one or two general offences), its preoccupation with less ‘serious’ forms of wrongdoing, and its reliance on omission-based liability. A very large proportion of bureaucratic criminal law is aimed at companies, as objects of criminalization. Whilst companies must be dealt with in a fair and proportionate manner by the criminal law, as entities they lack the capacity for emotional suffering, dignity, and autonomy that would otherwise place greater constraints on the scope for the criminalization of their activities.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The several contributors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2021 14:39
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 23:05

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