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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Theory in Practice: Risks and Responses in the Modern Criminal Law

Awarded: NOK 5.8 mill.

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2011 - 2016


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This research programme has concerned the contemporary development in regard to an increased focus on risk in society, and use of criminal law as a means to regulate such risks. An overarching aim for the programme has been to develop theoretical and cross-disciplinary perspectives on this subject, a subject that often challenges traditional principles of criminal law. The research project contains two subprojects; 1: Tina Søreide (postdoc-project, 01/05-12 - 01/05-15): The Economics of Crime and Criminal Sanctions and 2: Eva M. V. Møller (PhD-project, 01/08-12 - 31/07-16): Criminalization of Dangerous Acts - Reconstructing the Concepts of Risk and Danger for Norwegian Criminal Law. Project 1 has concerned the relevance of law & economy models in decision-making for the choice of sanctions and criminal sanctions and sentencing in particular. The project has focused on economic crime, corruption in particular. A central subject for this project has been to analyse and give structure to efficiency-based argumentation in decisions on the use of criminal sanctions in particular. The project contributed to an improved understanding of, and improved basis for making decisions on criminal sanctions and sentencing. The project has had a cross-disciplinary character, in particular the combination of legal and economical perspectives. Søreide has produced several publications as basis for the further work on this area of research, and resulted finally in the work Corruption and Criminal Justice ? Bridging Economic and Legal Perspectives (Edward Elgar, 2016). The project has generated activity, both in the research group and with others. In October 2013, a workshop was held at the faculty with contributions from several prominent researchers in the field. Also, in august 2014 a seminar on corruption was held in Bergen, with contributors from both science and practice. Søreide actively cooperates with both legal and economic expertise, and has thereby improved exchange of knowledge between the disciplines. Project 2 has concerned the concept of danger in criminal law. Recently, the concept of risk or danger has received greater relevance in criminal law. Møller has studied the tendency to increased criminalization of risk creating acts from both legal and cross-disciplinary perspectives, in particular in regard to provide principles that can guide legislators in regard to criminalisation. This project has not yet resulted in publications, but has been presented to several audiences, such as in Copenhagen, in Beijing and at the Nordic Workshop in criminal law. She visited in Sep-Oct 2013 the University of Minnesota Law School. Møller is expected to submit her PhD-thesis in 2017.

Among the most important current societal changes are the internationalisation of society and the development of a 'risk-society'. These changes have great impact on the development of the criminal law. The two projects (one post.doc.-project and one ph.d .-project) shall analyse different dimensions of the criminal law where these societal changes makes impact. The first project concerns the concept of danger and its role in the development of contemporary criminal law. The project seeks conceptual clarit y as a resource for attempts at dealing with contemporary risks by means of the criminal law. The second project concerns the principles of choice of penal level and sentencing in Norwegian criminal law. This project seeks, first, to discuss possible prin ciples guiding the choice of penal level and, secondly, to discuss the principles of sentencing, both in its institutional and substantial aspects. This project is of importance in view of the fact that higher level of repression is a central response to the mentioned contemporary societal challenges.

Publications from Cristin

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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam