Editor's Introduction

Carrie Leonetti
2019 New Criminal Law Review An International and Interdisciplinary Journal  
This issue explores the phenomenon of criminalization and related normative theories about the role of the criminal punishment in regulating conduct. The articles that it contains examine who and what are and ought to be "criminal," through the lens of the principles, values, purposes, and other distinctive features of the criminal law. The focus of the first article, Framing Meaning Through Criminalization: A Test for the Theory of Criminalization, by Javier Wilenmann, is the meaning framing
more » ... the criminal law. Wilenmann argues that normative theories of criminalization tend to lose sight of what is really at stake in symbolic criminalization conflicts: meaning framing and the legitimacy of imposing meaning frames through criminalization. In Framing for Meaning, he demonstrates how legislation serves less as a means to establish general conduct and sanction norms than as a communicative tool in the struggle for cultural control. He claims that criminal law is not only a tool in achieving social governance but also a tool of contemporary cultural struggles. He asserts that the central moral question surrounding criminalization is not about the conditions under which the achievement of social governance is illegitimate, nor about the legitimacy of the neutral enforcement of morality by an impersonal agent, but rather about meaning imposition between social groups. The foci of the second article, Conflicting Duties in Criminal Law, by Ivó Coca-Vila, are the principles of autonomy and solidarity. Coca-Vila seeks to redefine the conceptual notion of the conflict of duties in the criminal law, which arises when a defendant faces a conflict between grounds of obligation that cannot be simultaneously filled, with the inevitable consequence | 1
doi:10.1525/nclr.2019.22.1.1 fatcat:rwjkwxk4svb4pgiu4wqml6azoq