“Foundational Texts in Modern Criminal Law” (Dubber, ed.)

Another point of personal privilege, though not right down the law and religion fairway.Dubber.jpeg Oxford University Press has published a new paperback version of this collection of essays on foundational figures in the intellectual history of criminal law: Foundational Texts in Modern Criminal Law, edited by Markus D. Dubber. I have a chapter in the book on the thought of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen and his view of the ends of criminal punishment. Stephen, as it happens, was extremely interested in “offenses against religion” in his magnificent “History of the Criminal Law of England.” So, you see, law and religion is truly ubiquitous. The book contains very fine work on more familiar figures (e.g., Mill, Kant, Blackstone) as well as less well-known writers like Gustav Radbruch and Gunther Jakobs. And there is an accompanying volume where one can see some of the lesser known, and not widely available, texts discussed.

Foundational Texts in Modern Criminal Law presents essays in which scholars from various countries and legal systems engage critically with formative texts in criminal legal thought since Hobbes. It examines the emergence of a transnational canon of criminal law by documenting its intellectual and disciplinary history and provides a snapshot of contemporary work on criminal law within that historical and comparative context.

Criminal law discourse has become, and will continue to become, more international and comparative, and in this sense global: the long-standing parochialism of criminal law scholarship and doctrine is giving way to a broad exploration of the foundations of modern criminal law. The present book advances this promising scholarly and doctrinal project by making available key texts, including several not previously available in English translation, from the common law and civil law traditions, accompanied by contributions from leading representatives of both systems.