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Beyond public punitiveness: The role of emotions in criminal law policy

The article examines the existing and potential role of emotions in the criminal law-making and criminal policy. It aims to inspect which emotions, if any, are more acceptable for influencing criminal policy and to what extent emotions could legitimately intervene in criminalisation processes. It fi...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Peršak, Nina
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:International journal of law, crime and justice
Year: 2019, Volume: 57, Pages: 47-58
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
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Summary:The article examines the existing and potential role of emotions in the criminal law-making and criminal policy. It aims to inspect which emotions, if any, are more acceptable for influencing criminal policy and to what extent emotions could legitimately intervene in criminalisation processes. It first analyses the ways in which emotion has already penetrated into the criminal law, criminal justice and criminalisation. Next, it inspects the various characteristics of emotions, specifically those that are central in distinguishing between good and bad candidates for influencing criminal law policy, demonstrating that certain negative, highly intense, irrational and unstable or short-lived emotions can make bad law, as do atypical cases. The article then sketches a theoretical framework, composed of the requirements that should be fulfilled before any emotion could justifiably influence criminal law-making and of the further limits to such an enterprise. It concludes with recommendations and some thoughts on further research.