Defensive Liability : A Matter of Rights Enforcement, not Distributive Justice

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2022
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Criminal Law and Philosophy. Springer. 2022, 16(3), pp. 539-553. ISSN 1871-9791. eISSN 1871-9805. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s11572-021-09591-8
Zusammenfassung

The Moral Responsibility Account of Liability to Defensive Harm (MRA) states that an agent becomes liable to defensive harm if, and only if, she engages in a foreseeably risk-imposing activity that subsequently threatens objectively unjustified harm. Advocates of the account contend that liability to defensive harm is best understood as an aspect of distributive justice. Individuals who are liable to some harm are not wronged if the harm is imposed on them, and liability to defensive harm thus helps ensure that harm is borne by whoever has least of an objection of justice against being burdened with it—or so advocates of the MRA insist. In this paper, I argue that liability to defensive harm is not grounded in considerations of distributive justice. While it depends on the wider societal context what allocation of a burden is distributively most just, liability to defensive harm is a distinctly localised affair. I propose that liability to defensive harm is best understood as part of the enforcement dimension of our rights to non-interference. Framing liability in this way does not invalidate the MRA. It does, however, render subjective impermissibility accounts of liability particularly promising.

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100 Philosophie
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Liability to defensive harm, Distributive justice, Rights enforcement
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ISO 690BURRI, Susanne, 2022. Defensive Liability : A Matter of Rights Enforcement, not Distributive Justice. In: Criminal Law and Philosophy. Springer. 2022, 16(3), pp. 539-553. ISSN 1871-9791. eISSN 1871-9805. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s11572-021-09591-8
BibTex
@article{Burri2022-10Defen-54503,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.1007/s11572-021-09591-8},
  title={Defensive Liability : A Matter of Rights Enforcement, not Distributive Justice},
  number={3},
  volume={16},
  issn={1871-9791},
  journal={Criminal Law and Philosophy},
  pages={539--553},
  author={Burri, Susanne}
}
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