The functionality of the criminal justice system

Imprisonment and the Principles of the Criminal Law (article project)

Main content

This article discusses the administration of punishment, with focus on the sanction of imprisonment.

More generally, it provides a principled account of the function and place of the concrete administration of punishment in the larger framework of the criminal justice system. It argues that the administration of punishment – and the principles that steers its content – must be understood in relation to other specific principles that steers other functions within the criminal justice system, such as principles for criminalisation or for the criminal procedure. The reason for this is that the criminal justice system, in the end, must be perceived as a coherent principled structure, where different function-specific principles are interrelated through the more basic (constitutional) principles of the system. From this departing point, this article analyses the rules and principles that steers the content of the sanction of imprisonment. The article is, on the legal dogmatic level, founded in the Norwegian legal system but it to a large extent discusses questions of a more general character.

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