Lessons from History in Dealing with Our Most Dangerous

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2018

See all articles by Harry Hobbs

Harry Hobbs

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Andrew Trotter

Doogue O'Brien George

Date Written: May 30, 2018

Abstract

The conundrum of dealing with dangerous sexual offenders is one that has never been too far from the public and legislative consciousness. Striking an appropriate balance between community protection and the human rights of the offender is a difficult task and one weighed down by many competing considerations. In this article, we survey historical and contemporary punishment of dangerous sexual offenders in order to inform that debate. Measures adopted or employed by political communities to respond to such offenders should be chosen with an eye to history. This article argues that such measures are often adopted as a cure for public fear, and as such, they risk being overzealous, imprecise, disproportionate, and unjust. Reflecting on this history, we provide three points that should guide legislative and executive responses when dealing with our most dangerous.

Keywords: dangerousness, sexual offenders, criminal law, security, liberty, legal history

Suggested Citation

Hobbs, Harry and Trotter, Andrew, Lessons from History in Dealing with Our Most Dangerous (May 30, 2018). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3187805

Harry Hobbs (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Andrew Trotter

Doogue O'Brien George ( email )

Level 5/221 Queen Street
Melbourne, Victoria
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
254
PlumX Metrics