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Penal Censure

Penal Censure WorksopPenal Censure Workshop

In 1976, Andreas von Hirsch published in the United States a seminal volume entitled Doing Justice (1976), which critiqued the then dominant rehabilitation-oriented approach to sentencing, and introduced (or re-introduced) ‘just deserts theory’, linked to the concept of proportionality. Later, von Hirsch reshaped his theory, making the concept of ‘penal censure’ central to his work (as in his 1993 volume, Censure and Sanctions). In September 2016, as a fortieth-anniversary tribute to the influence of Doing Justice, the Penal Theory Centre convened a workshop to re-examine the concept of penal censure from many perspectives, including – for example – its theoretical foundations, whether it promotes parsimony in sentencing, how (if at all) it relates to rehabilitation, and whether it has any purchase in state responses to terrorist offences. Contributors to the workshop came from the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy and the United States. A volume arising out of the workshop is nearing completion, and will be published in 2018 in the Centre’s book series, Studies in Penal Theory and Penal Ethics (Hart/Bloomsbury Publishing).