Theory of roman law

Classified in Psychology and Sociology

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enlightenment: dramatic revolutions

in science, philosophy, society and

politics. End of the medieval world-view.

(ilustración). Rationalism, empiricism

utilitarianism: purpose of life is maximize

pleasure while minimizing pain

Classical school: 5 key principles—> 

-Rationality: people have free will and

choose to commit crimes

-Hedonism: people seek pleasure and

try to avoid pain

-Punishment works as a deterrent to

crime (people trying to avoid it)

-Human Rights

-Due process

Beccaria(On crimes and punishments


laws should be made by legislature,

should be specific, clear and simple,

should define crime and punishment.

Role of judges: determine guilt and to

follow strictly to the letter of the law.

Not possible for them to go beyond

their thoughts. 

Proportionality—> proper proportion

between crimes and punishments

Criticas classical theory:


unclear motivation: too simplistic schema

(bc crimes are spontaneous, treating all

people as alike inequality, unfair.., promote

universal acceptance of the law(no question

laws fair or not)

for criminologists: no way to demonstrate free

will, focused on criminal law

Neoclassical theory: Cornish and Clarke’s -

rational choice theory—> the criminal justice

system must crime less rewarded by increasing

the certainty and severity of punishment. 

Felson (2002): Routine activity Theory —> crime is

not a product of social factors, is a result of

motivated offender and the lack of capable guardian

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