The Legitimate Ambit of Domestic and International Criminalization

A Nathanson Centre and Robina Institute joint international conference

criminalization

Friday, 1 April – Sunday, 3 April, 2016

Location:

Room 1014, Ignat Kaneff Building
Osgoode Hall Law School
York University
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3

map and directions


Background and Conference Theme

From 2008 to 2012, a number of leading criminal law theorists (Duff, Farmer, Marshall, Renzo, and Tadros) engaged in an ambitious project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom. The task they set for themselves was to try and answer the questions of what should be criminalized, according to what goals and principles, what forms this criminalization should take, and how it should be applied. The group organized a series of meetings and workshops on different aspects of this inquiry, involving a large number of criminal law scholars from across the globe. The project led to a number of notable publications, including four edited volumes: The Boundaries of Criminal Law (OUP 2010), The Structures of Criminal Law (OUP 2011), The Constitution of Criminal Law (OUP 2013), and Criminalization: The Political Morality of the Criminal Law (OUP 2014).

The introduction to the last volume sets out key areas of research that the conveners of the Project felt they were unable to tackle satisfactorily, given the inherent complexity of the issues at stake and the time-bounded character of their work. The most salient ones are:

  • 1. Processes of criminalization: who apart from legislatures has/should have the power/authority to determine what is substantively criminalized? What about prosecutors and police? How different is the process at the international level?
  • 2. The need to ground a normative account of criminalization – whether it focuses on substantive or procedural conditions for legitimate criminalization – in a political theory (which is clearly connected to (1)), and to understand criminal law as part of the political structure of the state. Connected to this is the question whether similar or different theories should be applied at the domestic and international levels.
  • 3. The attractions/drawbacks of looking for a grand unitary theory of criminalization based on some single principle or value (harm; Rechtsgut; dignity; sovereignty; civil order…).
  • 4. The relationship/division of labor between criminal law and other modes of regulation/other ways of responding to wrongs – including e.g. administrative regulatory regimes, tort law, restorative justice processes, etc.

The main aim of this conference is to continue to build on the work done in the context of the Criminalization Project to advance our understanding of these issues and other related ones.

To do so, we are bringing together a group of dynamic and original early and mid-career criminal law theorists, many of whom did not have a chance to participate in the Criminalization Project. It is our hope that their fresh perspectives will allow us to make further progress in unraveling the complexity of the issues outlined, and contribute to unveiling new vistas and questions from which to better understand the legitimate ambit of criminalization, domestically and/or internationally.

Conference Program

Conference papers (Password protected)
 

Friday, April 1, 2016

 

9:00 am
BREAKFAST & WELCOME

Conference Conveners: Prof. François Tanguay-Renaud (Director, Nathanson Centre; Osgoode) and Prof. Neha Jain (Robina Institute, Minnesota)

 
9:30 am – 11 am
“CRIMINAL LAW AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF JUSTICE”
Colleen Murphy (Illinois)

Respondent: Benjamin Berger (Osgoode)

 
11 am – 11:15 am
TEA & COFFEE
 
11:15 am – 12:45 pm
“STANDING IN CRIMINAL LAW”
James Edwards (Oxford)

Respondent: Malcolm Thorburn (Toronto)

 
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
LUNCH
 
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
“THE “BAD MAN” AND THE GOOD PROSECUTOR: PLEA-BARGAINING, PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION, AND THE AMBIT OF CRIMINALIZATION”
Palma Paciocco (Osgoode)

Respondent: Ambrose Lee (Oxford)

 
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm
TEA & COFFEE
 
3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
“DO THEORIES OF PUNISHMENT NECESSARILY DELIVER A BINARY SYSTEM OF VERDICTS? AN EXPLORATORY ESSAY”
Federico Picinali (LSE)

Respondent: Vincent Chiao (Toronto)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

 

9 am – 930 am
BREAKFAST
 
9:30 am – 11 am
“CRIMINALIZATION FROM A PUBLIC LAW PERSPECTIVE”
Vincent Chiao (Toronto)

Respondent: François Tanguay-Renaud (Osgoode)

 
11 am – 11:15 am
TEA & COFFEE
 
11:15 am – 12:45 pm
“CRIME AS TORT: CORRECTIVE JUSTICE AS A PRINCIPLE OF DIRECT CRIMINALIZATION”
Andrei Poama (Montreal)

Respondent: Dan Priel (Osgoode)

 
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
LUNCH
 
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
“PUNISHING PURE THOUGHT”
Gabriel S. Mendlow (Michigan)

Respondent: Susan Dimock (York)

 
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm
TEA & COFFEE
 
3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
“CRIMINALIZATION AND WELFARE”
Dan Priel (Osgoode)

Respondent: Alan Brudner (Toronto)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

 

8:45 am – 9:15 am
BREAKFAST
 
9:15 am – 10:45 am
“THE LEGITIMACY OF INTERNATIONAL COURTS AND THE QUESTION OF COMMUNITY”
Alain Zysset (EUI)

Respondent: Darryl Robinson (Queen’s)

 
10:45 am – 12:15 am
“PROCESSES OF CRIMINALIZATION IN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW”
Michelle Madden Dempsey (Villanova)

Respondent: Neha Jain (Minnesota)

 
12:15 am – 1300 am
LUNCH & CONCLUDING DISCUSSION: Taking the project forward & staying connected

Organized in collaboration with:

Robins_inst_logo

 To register or for any other queries, please contact Ms. Lielle Gonsalves, Assistant to the Nathanson Centre (lgonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca).