Criminal Law: Principle of Autonomy vs. Welfare

August 3, 2023

The principle of autonomy promotes individual freedom and favours minimum criminalisation so that citizens of our society are free to act and pursue their goals unrestrained. However, this must be balanced against the principle of welfare which prioritises societal protection by restricting the rights of defendants. Therefore, it is the state’s role to balance these values by deciding what activities should be criminalised and to what extent to maximise autonomy and welfare.

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