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date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the codification of criminal law by focusing on the theory and practice of codification in England and the United States. The aim of the chapter is to widen the focus from a discussion of what are claimed to be the immediate benefits of a project of codification to raise some broader issues about the meaning and functions of codification of the criminal law. It considers how codification might contribute to values such as liberty by analyzing its relationship with modernity and discusses the immediate benefits of codification. It also highlights the tension between the liberalism and authoritarianism at the heart of the modern codification project and concludes by assessing the function of a penal code.

Keywords: codification, criminal law, England, United States, liberty, modernity, liberalism, authoritarianism, penal code

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