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Should states have the right to punish municipal offences committed abroad?

Chehtman, Alejandro (2008) Should states have the right to punish municipal offences committed abroad? LSE law, society and economy working papers (04-2008). Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper provides a philosophical critique of the principles that currently govern extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction under public international law. I start by outlining an interest-based justification for the right to punish offenders which, I suggest, is sensitive to the territorial dimension of the criminal law. On its basis, I argue that the nationality and passive personality principles have hollow foundations; by contrast, this justification fully explains what makes the territoriality and protective principles morally sound. Finally, this paper takes issue with the two most influential justifications for legal punishment available in the literature, i.e., retribution and deterrence. It argues that when pressed against the issue of extraterritoriality, they are committed to conferring upon states universal criminal jurisdiction for municipal offences. Although this does not prove them wrong, it is an implication that few of their supporters would be happy to endorse.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2009 14:02
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:13

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