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This article is an exposition of the application of deterrence in Malawian sentencing jurisprudence. Drawing from case law, it explores how courts employed deterrence before 1994 and the role deterrence continues to play in the constitutional era. The paper looks at how it is reflected in the treatment of sentencing factors and influences sentencing policy. It also considers how courts have conceptualised the distinction between specific and general deterrence regarding the principle ofdoi:10.17159/1727-3781/2017/v20i0a4187 fatcat:54cbwytu2nfffgnf6jsokv5dvi