Criminal Law Theory

Return to Course Catalog

Spring 2013 Seminar
2 classroom credits
This seminar examines the common assumption that criminal wrongs and moral wrongs are closely related and that state punishment should track moral desert in some meaningful way. The seminar asks whether moral desert should have a place in our understanding of criminal law at all, and what shape moral desert assumes and should assume when it is fashioned as the core of a state institution. These questions will be examined through a study of various theoretical issues, such as justification of punishment, the harm principle, malum prohibitum, self-defense, and provocation. Laptops are not allowed.

Subject Areas: Criminal Law & Procedure .

© 2015 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.