Former IAS Senior Core Fellow Nina Peršak's new article on emotions in criminal law policy

May 6, 2019

IAS 2018/2019 Senior Core Fellow Nina Peršak published a new article titled Beyond public punitiveness: The role of emotions in criminal law policy in the International Journal of law, Crime and Justice. The article results form the project that Nina Peršak was working on during her fellowship at IAS. 

The article examines the existing and potential role of emotions in the  criminal law-making and criminal policy. It aims to inspect which emotions, if any, are more acceptable for influencing criminal policy and to what extent emotions could legitimately intervene in criminalisation processes. It first analyses the ways in which emotion has already penetrated into the criminal law, criminal justice and criminalisation. Next, it inspects the various characteristics of emotions, specifically those that are central in distinguishing between good and bad candidates for influencing criminal law policy, demonstrating that certain negative, highly intense, irrational and unstable or short-lived emotions can make bad law, as do atypical cases. The article then sketches a theoretical framework, composed of the requirements that should be fulfilled before any emotion could justifiably influence criminal law-making and of the further limits to such an enterprise. It concludes with recommendations and some thoughts on further research.

The piece can be found here