Nicola Lacey presents a new approach to the question of the moral justification of punishment by the State. She focuses on the theory of punishments in context of other political questions, such as the nature of political obligation and the function and scope of criminal law. Arguing that no convincing set of justifying reasons has so far been produced, she puts forward a theory of punishments which places the values of the community at its centre.
`Its arguments ... pursuade us that there are indeed fresh lines of inquiry to be pursued, and that these may prove well worth pursuing.' - Times Higher Education Supplement
`This book makes a substantial contribution to the punishment debate, and has a claim on any legal theorist's attention.' - Criminal Law Review
`This carefully constructed and persistently argued book is impressive and demanding of our attention.' - Times Literary Supplement
`One is greatly indebted to Lacey for bringing so many issues so clearly and cogently together.' - Utilitas