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By Markus D Dubber

Foundational Texts in sleek felony Law provides essays within which students from a number of international locations and criminal structures interact severely with formative texts in legal felony notion considering Hobbes. It examines the emergence of a transnational canon of legal legislations by way of documenting its highbrow and disciplinary historical past and offers a image of latest paintings on felony legislations inside that old and comparative context.

Criminal legislation discourse has turn into, and should proceed to turn into, extra foreign and comparative, and during this feel international: the long-standing parochialism of felony legislations scholarship and doctrine is giving option to a large exploration of the rules of contemporary legal legislation. the current publication advances this promising scholarly and doctrinal venture by means of making to be had key texts, together with a number of no longer formerly on hand in English translation, from the typical legislations and civil legislation traditions, observed by means of contributions from prime representatives of either systems.

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What makes a system of criminal law necessary is not so much that people refuse to obey the law out of recalcitrance, but that people have no reason to obey the law without some sort of security that they will not be exploited. Hobbes describes a first performer problem: each party to a contract is rightfully reluctant to perform his duties first, for the second party may then take the benefits of the agreement but refuse to perform his contractual obligations. 39 Put differently, punishment can give an individual the confidence to be the first performer, or to abide by the law even if he is not otherwise sure that others will do the same.

See Ristroph (n 2). Hobbes on “Diffidence” and the Criminal Law 31 Consider Hobbes’s analysis in a bit more detail. 37 But this conventional deterrence argument is only part of Hobbes’s account. It turns out that Hobbesian punishment “generates obedience” by reassuring the law-abiding person as much as by frightening the person inclined to disobey the law. What makes a system of criminal law necessary is not so much that people refuse to obey the law out of recalcitrance, but that people have no reason to obey the law without some sort of security that they will not be exploited.

Now the notion of legitimacy is crucial to this originary moment of tension between modern police and modern law (or modern heteronomy and modern autonomy as genres of governance). Law and justice are no longer compatible, if not synonymous, with police and peace, as benefits dispensed by the householder-sovereign, much as the lord once did to “his man” in exchange for the latter’s obeisance. They instead frame a new critical analysis of state power that demands justification of every exercise of that power as a potential violation of the autonomy of the person-citizen.

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