Ultima Ratio, Is the Principle at Risk?: Editors’ Introduction

Oñati Socio-Legal Series. 2013;3(1):1-5


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Oñati Socio-Legal Series

ISSN: 2079-5971 (Online)

Publisher: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law

Society/Institution: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law

LCC Subject Category: Law: Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence: Private international law. Conflict of laws: Social legislation

Country of publisher: Spain

Language of fulltext: Portuguese, Spanish; Castilian, English, French, Basque

Full-text formats available: PDF



Heike Jung
Kimmo Nuotio
Joxerramon Bengoetxea


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 16 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Ultima ratio as a normative principle, or a constellation of principles, would be a hermeneutic pre-understanding or pre-interpretative concept to the effect that the definition of a certain socially relevant conduct as a crime and the consequent infliction of a penal sanction on the perpetrator of such conduct is a serious matter to be handled with caution and not to be abused. Similarly, the emergence of new definitions of "European" crimes is a matter of concern. The risk referred to in the rhetoric question of the Workshop &ldquo;Is the ultima ratio principle at risk?&rdquo; lies in the non-observance of the principle of minimal intervention, the tendency to criminalise and to bring all or any socially &ndash; even politically &ndash; undesirable actions under the criminal law, and to use the criminal definition and sanction for purposes and situations other than the strictly necessary &ndash; principle of necessity &ndash; and universally shared &ndash; principle of deep social consensus.</p> <hr /><p>Ultima ratio como un principio normativo, o una constelaci&oacute;n de principios, ser&iacute;a un concepto heur&iacute;stico, una comprensi&oacute;n o pre-interpretaci&oacute;n hermen&eacute;utica, a fin de que la definici&oacute;n como &ldquo;delito&rdquo; de determinada conducta socialmente relevante, y la consecuente imposici&oacute;n de una sanci&oacute;n penal al causante de dicha conducta es un asunto serio que debe tratarse con cautela, y del que no se debiera abusar. El &ldquo;riesgo&rdquo; mencionado en la pregunta ret&oacute;rica del seminario &ldquo;&iquest;Est&aacute; el principio de ultima ratio en riesgo?&rdquo; se encuentra en la falta de observaci&oacute;n del principio de intervenci&oacute;n m&iacute;nima del derecho penal, en la tendencia a criminalizar y a reconducir las acciones socialmente, incluso pol&iacute;ticamente, indeseables bajo el derecho penal, y a abusar de la definici&oacute;n penal o tipificaci&oacute;n y de la sanci&oacute;n penal cubriendo finalidades y situaciones diferentes de las estrictamente necesarias, principio de necesidad, y de las universalmente compartidas, principio de consenso social profundo.</p> <p><strong>DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN</strong>: <a href="http://ssrn.com/abstract=2213166" target="_blank">http://ssrn.com/abstract=2213166</a></p>