Redressing Grievances: The Retaliation Model

  • William C. HeffernanEmail author
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


To what extent has practice conformed to the principles outlined in Chapters 1 and 2? This chapter and the following one establish that history corresponds roughly with theory. They do so by contrasting two models of grievance-redress: a retaliation model and a criminal justice model. The former clarifies patterns of grievance-redress in primitive societies. Drawing on examples from Anglo-Saxon England, this chapter charts gradual movement away from a retaliation-based framework of grievance-redress that is based, in considerable measure, on key features of lex talionis. Anglo-Saxon kings labored, often with only modest success, to replace the feud-based approach to grievance-redress with a framework that insisted on impartial resolution of complaints about injury.


Criminal justice Criminal justice model Culpability Deterrence Equivalent payback Injury Justice Lex talionis Proportionality Punishment Redressing grievances Retaliation model Revenge State 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

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