Researcher: Lindsay Farmer (with Duff, Marshall, Renzo and Tadros)

This was a four year project (2008-2012) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant no 128737). My collaborators were Antony Duff and Sandra Marshall (both Philosophy, University of Stirling), and Massimo Renzo and Victor Tadros (Philosophy and Law, University of Warwick). The question that we set ourselves was to try and answer the question of what should be criminalised, or what is the proper scope of the criminal law.

 This was an interdisciplinary investigation into criminalization, focusing on the principles and goals that should guide decisions about what kinds of conduct should be criminalized, and the forms that criminalization should take. The overall aim was that of developing a normative theory of criminalization. We organised a series of meetings and workshops on different aspects of this question, involving lawyers, philosophers, criminologist and historians, amongst others, looking at questions such as what principles and goals should legislatures use in deciding what to criminalize? How should criminal wrongs be classified and differentiated? And how should law enforcement officials apply the law?

This project has led to a number of publications. There are three volumes edited by the research team:

These will be joined by a fourth volume, titled Criminalization: the Political Morality of the Criminal Law, to be published by Oxford later this year (2014). This contains essays by (amongst others), James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick, Jeremy Horder, Douglas Husak, Michael Moore, Philip Pettit and Loïc Wacquant.