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Campbell, John (2018) 'Can Law Achieve Happiness? Critical Reflections on Criminal Justice.' Journal of Comparative Law, 13 (2). pp. 21-32.

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This paper applies Bentham’s utilitarian philosophy to contemporary criminal law in the United Kingdom. This task necessarily requires that I begin by addressing Bentham’s assumptions about the role of the legislator and of law which are central to his argument that law can achieve happiness. Section (ii) applies Bentham’s ideas to contemporary legislation on domestic violence and it examines how the police and courts implement this legislation. I seek to understand whether Bentham’s arguments apply to contemporary legislators and the legal process Section (iii) looks at a domestic violence case heard in a London magistrates’ court in 2017. I assess the evidence submitted in this case and consider whether the decision reached by the court can be adequately ‘summed up’, to use Bentham’s phrase, as one which advances ‘the happiness of society’?

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Justice, Jeremy Bentham, magistrates, happiness, criminal justice
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 14770814
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 09:26
Related URLs: https://www.wil ... comparative-law (Publisher URL)

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