Andrew Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law (1991)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In Principles of Criminal Law, Andrew Ashworth defends a range of principles that he argues should govern the scope and conditions of criminal liability. This chapter examines Ashworth’s arguments for these principles, their significance in their context, and their subsequent influence on criminal law scholarship. It begins by identifying Ashworth’s overarching concerns with retributive justice and liberal autonomy, and his scepticism towards policies of social defence. It then turns to his arguments for, and applications of, a range of more specific principles: those relating to minimum criminalisation, fair labelling, subjective fault and the rule of law. Overall, it is argued, the retributive aspects of Ashworth’s normative vision have been more influential than its liberal aspects. The chapter also reflects on the book’s prioritisation of principle over policy, and on its distinctive middle range approach to normative theorising.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeading Works in Criminal Law
EditorsChloë Kennedy, Lindsay Farmer
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781003193982
ISBN (Print)9781032046259
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameAnalysing Leading Works in Law

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • criminal law
  • criminalisation
  • fair labelling
  • subjective fault
  • rule of law


Dive into the research topics of 'Andrew Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law (1991)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this