The Nature of Traditional Criminal Law

  • Merita Kettunen
Part of the Comparative, European and International Criminal Justice book series (CEICJ, volume 2)


Defining crime or criminal law is a difficult task. From a legalistic perspective, one could simply state that crime is conduct that is punishable by law. Building on such an approach, criminal law could be defined, in a circular manner, as ‘a branch of law which deals with those acts, attempts and omissions of which the state may take cognisance by prosecution in the criminal courts’. This kind of legalistic or positivistic definition does not say much about the nature of criminal law.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland and G. Giappichelli Editore 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merita Kettunen
    • 1
  1. 1.HelsinkiFinland

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