Rebuilding the Harm Principle: Using an Evolutionary Perspective to Provide a New Foundation for Justice

Wyatt, Tanya and Gibney, Ed (2020) Rebuilding the Harm Principle: Using an Evolutionary Perspective to Provide a New Foundation for Justice. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9 (3). pp. 100-115. ISSN 2202-7998

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i3.1280

Abstract

Following Mill’s (1859) definition, the ‘harm principle’ came to dominate legal debates about crime and the appropriate response of the justice system, effectively replacing official talk of morality in modern secular societies. However, the harm principle has collapsed without an accepted definition of harm or a method to adjudicate between competing claims. To address this, we propose a definition of ‘good’ derived from evolutionary perspectives. From this, a universal goal for society can be recognised, specific objectives to reach that goal can be listed, and a new definition for harm can be used to repair the harm principle and restore its ability to underpin criminal law and the principles of justice in society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: harm principle, zemiology, political philosophy, evolutionary ethics, green criminology
Subjects: L300 Sociology
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 12:50
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 07:46
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44523

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