Dr. h. c. prof. JUDr. Lucia
K u r i l o v s k á, PhD., Institute of State and Law of Slovak Academy of
Právny obzor, Volume 103, 2020, No. 4, pp. 281 – 296.
Published online: 31.8.2021
Abstract. Criminal justice always was and still is executed mainly by sentencing the perpetrator of criminal offense to a certain kind of punishment, which they are supposed to endure (suffer) as a cause for their criminal wrongdoings. We all know that such punishment has to be just, i. e. on a specific level appropriate to the offense in question. But this special quality of punishment did not always mean necessary the same thing indeed, it has varied greatly over historical evolution of criminal justice as such and was at every time closely tied with the general intended purpose of punishing. In the presented article, the authors look first at the main reasoning behind sentencing an offender to punishment and its overall ratio. Next, they briefly analyse the changes which the intended purpose of imposing a punishment undergone in terms of legal science and philosophy over previous centuries and the most notorious theories produced by this evolution. Secondly, the authors address the point of the concept of restorative justice in contrast to the concept of retributive justice, which both bear some significant traits of the main two separate theories on the purpose of punishment, as established previously. They argue that the current tendency of criminal politics to concentrate around undoing the wrong done by the crime, the supposed healing, restoration, changed greatly how we think about the justness of punishment. In this line of thought, they try to define just punishment as a core value of the concept of restorative justice. At last, in the third part of the presented article the authors try to sketch the basic rules of how we might determine that the punishment is just, so as to distinguish the way how the legal practitioners, mainly judges, should establish such punishment in terms of our legal heritage, culture and positive law.
Key words: just punishment, restorative justice, criminal justice, intended purpose of punishment
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