By John Hagan, Kim Lane Scheppele, Tom R. Tyler eds.
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Extra info for Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 1, 2005
Durkheim was especially concerned with “solidarity”: that is, with the mechanisms for inducing individuals to behave as members committed to the values and goals of society. As he saw it, a high degree of reliance on criminal punishment was particularly characteristic of relatively simple “segmented” societies, with little division of labor. In such societies, solidarity was created through penal legislation, especially penal legislation targeting the sorts of morals offenses that draw strong communal disapproval.
Whatever approach scholars take, though, they must make some effort to explain the differing pattern of human violence. In the end, no account of comparative criminal justice will be adequate without some elucidation of this fundamental problem. COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL LAW AND COMPARATIVE PUNISHMENT Some of the most promising, and least studied, topics in comparative punishment involve comparative criminal law, of a kind that only trained lawyers can do well. Lawyers willing to deploy their expertise in technical criminal law can make important contributions to our understanding of comparative punishment.
Nevertheless, the study of comparative doctrinal criminal law is also full of opportunity for the serious student of comparative law. Doctrinal criminal law is a body of rules about the limits of criminal liability. Different societies establish those limits in strikingly different ways. Doctrines of justiﬁcation and excuse in the law of homicide offer a ﬁne example. Many traditions excuse or justify “crimes of passion”—classically, homicides committed by spouses who discover their mates in ﬂagrante delicto with a third party.