Up until recently, most legal philosophers have argued that an action is a token of sanctioning if, and only if, (i) its performance brings about unwelcome consequences to the targets, and (ii) it is performed as a response to the breach of a duty. In this paper I take issue with this account. I first add some qualifications to it in order to present it in its most plausible form. After doing this, I advance a series of hypothetical cases which suggests that this account fails. I then propose a new account of sanctioning, whereby an action is a token of sanctioning if, and only if, it is performed in an appropriate context and is apt for punishing wrongdoers.
- general jurisprudence
- philosophy of criminal law