Law School Lunchtime Research Seminar - Wednesday 4 October 2023
Talk Title: After punitiveness: Making punishment (irr)relevant
Abstract: This talk will summarise some of the conceptual and methodological problems encountered in the punitiveness debate-. It distinguishes between punitiveness as excessive punishment or as the choice to punish, and between studying ' the punitive turn' and differences in punitiveness. It also comments on issues that arise in describing, explaining and evaluating punitiveness. The chapter goes on to discuss the increasing tendency to write about leniency, moderateness, and forgiveness (both from an empirical and a normative perspective) asking whether and how these matters count as a different enquiry. As an illustration of the new issues this opens up, it ends with a brief examination of the supposed leniency of the Italian juvenile justice system. Is its leniency just the converse of punitiveness? In what ways does the system try to make punishment 'irrelevant'?