Criminal Law Web

Foundational Texts in Modern Criminal Law


This is the companion website for Foundational Texts in Modern Criminal Law (OUP 2014).  It provides online access to texts discussed in this collection of essays.  Texts that are made available in English for the first time (marked with an asterisk) also appear in the book's appendix. 


Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan (1651)
     ch. xxvii, Of Crimes, Excuses, and Extenuations
     ch. xxviii, Of Punishments, and Rewards
Cesare Beccaria
Of Crimes and Punishments (1764)
An Attempt at an Analysis of Smuggling (1764)
William Blackstone
Commentaries on the Laws of England, bk. 4 (1769)
Jeremy Bentham
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)
Immanuel Kant
Metaphysics of Morals, Rechtslehre (1796)
PJA Feuerbach*
Lehrbuch des gemeinen in Deutschland geltenden peinlichen Rechts (1st ed. 1801)
     Textbook of the Common Penal Law in Force in Germany (English translation) (excerpts) (based on 13th ed. 1840) (= Appendix A)*
Narratives of Remarkable Criminal Trials (trans. 1846)
GWF Hegel
Philosophy of Right §§ 90-103 (1821)
JMF Birnbaum*
Ueber das Erforderniß einer Rechtsverletzung zum Begriffe des Verbrechens (1834)
     Concerning the Need for a Right Violation in the Concept of a Crime ... (English translation) (excerpts) (= Appendix B)*
JS Mill
On Liberty (1859)
James Fitzjames Stephen
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1874)
Evgeny Pashukanis
General Theory of Law and Marxism (1924)
Gustav Radbruch*
Der Ursprung des Strafrechts aus dem Stande der Unfreien (1938)
     The Origin of Criminal Law in the Status of the Unfree (English translation) (= Appendix C)*
Herbert Wechsler
Model Penal and Correctional Code (1962) (excerpts) (complete, with Official Commentaries: HeinOnline)
     A Rationale of the Law of Homicide, 37 Colum. L. Rev. 701, 1261 (1937) (JSTOR)
     The Challenge of a Model Penal Code, 65 Harv. L. Rev. 1097 (1952) (JSTOR)
Glanville Williams
Criminal Law: The General Part (1953)
     Preventive Justice and the Rule of Law, 16 Mod. L. Rev. 417 (1953) (JSTOR)
HLA Hart
Prolegomenon to the Principles of Punishment, 60 Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 1 (1959) (JSTOR)
Gary Becker
Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach, 76 J. Pol. Econ. 169 (1968)
Michel Foucault
Discipline and Punish (1975)
Nils Christie
Conflicts as Property, 17 Brit. J. Criminology 1 (1977) (HeinOnline)
Günther Jakobs*
Bürgerstrafrecht und Feindstrafrecht, 2004 HRRS 88
Zur Theorie des Feindstrafrechts, in Henning Rosenau & Sanyun Kim (eds.), Straftheorie und Strafgerechtigkeit 167-82 (2010)
     On the Enemy Theory of Criminal Law (English translation) (= Appendix D)*