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Preventive Detention in Europe, the United States and Australia

19 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2012 Last revised: 26 Oct 2012

Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: June 27, 2012


Preventive detention, both within the criminal justice system and outside it (e.g. commitment, quarantine and wartime confinement), is under-theorized. The European Court of Human Rights has recently issued a spate of opinions that begin to deal seriously with the issue, in a more sophisticated manner than American courts have. This paper describes the European decisions, especially the European Court's decision in M. v. Germany, compares those decisions to American and Australian law on preventive detention, and discusses how principles I have developed in other work can further the analysis.

Keywords: preventive detention, Kansas v. Hendricks, M. v. Germany, sentencing, sex offenders

Suggested Citation

Slobogin, Christopher, Preventive Detention in Europe, the United States and Australia (June 27, 2012). Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper Working Paper No. 12-27; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-20. Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Slobogin (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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