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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.

Warning

This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.

PENAL THEORY

Contents


PENAL THEORY

The purpose of the criminal law is not to punish vice but to protect society against conduct harmful to its members. Many acts condemned by the majority are not punishable. It was on this ground that some in New Zealand argued (successfully) that attempted suicide and (unsuccessfully) that homosexual acts between consenting adult males should not be offences. Moreover, mainly for reasons of expediency, even socially harmful conduct is not always criminal; as, for example, adultery.

Co-creator

B.J.C. .

Last updated 22-Apr-09