Billis, E., Knust, N., & Rui, J. P. (2021). Proportionality in crime control and criminal justice. Oxford: Hart Publishing. doi:10.5040/9781509938636
This volume is the product of a two-year study on proportionality in crime control and criminal justice, conceived and organised by the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Research Group on Alternative and Informal Systems of Crime Control and Criminal Justice. The book comprises 17 chapters by 21 leading international scholars in the fields of legal theory and philosophy, constitutional and public security law, human rights and humanitarian law, (national, international and supranational) criminal law, criminal justice and criminology. The overall goal is to contribute to the theoretical exploration and practical evolution of the proportionality concept. To this end, the emphasis is on aspects of proportionality that might (or should) serve both as guidelines (in terms of effectiveness and efficiency) and substantial limitations (in terms of human rights and humanitarian grounds) on the use of the legislative, executive and judicial instruments of crime control and criminal justice by individual states and the international community. The first drafts of the papers that form the chapters of this book were presented and extensively discussed during an international workshop convened for this purpose at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (formerly Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law) in Freiburg (Germany) and co-funded by the Max Planck Society (Otto Hahn Award Programme), the University of Bergen and the Research Council Norway. Drawing on the debates and outcomes of the workshop, the final versions of the chapters were prepared and systematically edited not with the (virtually infeasible) purpose of providing an exhaustive and generally (vertically and horizontally) applicable theory of proportionality. Rather, the shared objective was to raise basic (doctrinal and pragmatic) questions, to identify the colliding dynamics, major obstacles and key challenges and to comprehensively discuss the proposed solutions with respect to the application and enforcement of proportionality criteria and guarantees in contemporary criminal and security matters. It is a common presumption that our modern risk societies are faced with a plethora of visible and invisible enemies. Balancing freedom and security in this globalised (legal) world has indeed turned into nothing less than an attempt at untying a Gordian knot. Against this background, the proportionality of measures of crime prevention and repression is unquestionably an issue of utmost importance, which basic research and legal policy are urgently called to address.