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Criminal Law School

What is Criminal Law?  Criminal law is the body of law involving crime.  Criminal laws are supported by a variety theories that can be categorized into the following 5 criminal law theories.

5 Criminal Law Theories

  1. Retribution.  The criminal law theory of retribution is also known as “Just Deserts.”  When a criminal has committed a crime, the concept of retribution requires that the punishment serves to balance the scales, and is proportionate to the crime committed.
  2. Deterrence. The criminal law theory of deterrence proscribes punishments that aim to deter the individual (specific deterrence) and/or to deter the public (general deterrence) from committing the same type of crime.
  3. Incapacitation. The criminal law theory of incapacitation aims to incarcerate criminals to prevent them from committing further crimes.
  4. Rehabilitation.  The criminal law theory of rehabilitation aims to restore the offender to a productive member of society.
  5. Restoration.  The criminal law theory of restoration is focused on the victim of the crime and seeks to restore them to their previous state before the crime.

Governments and jurisdictions will differ in their application of these criminal law theories.

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