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The status of criminology in the framework of the criminal sciences: In particular, the relationships between criminology and criminal law

Cordero, Isidoro Blanco
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Victim policies and criminal justice on the road to restorative justice: Essays in honour of Tony Peters, ed. E. Fattah and S. Parmentier, 267-292. With an introduction by E. Fattah and S. Parmentier. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The authors of this paper examine the origins and establishment of criminology as an autonomous discipline in the criminal sciences, separate from criminal law. Clearly, the two disciplines are closely related. Both criminology and criminal law involve the study of offending behavior, the offender, and criminal sanctions. Yet, while they deal with the same body of knowledge, they diverge in their method of knowledge. The science of criminal law employs a technical-legal method in the scientific and systematic study of norms concerning offending behavior and its consequences – norms and consequences based on the positive criminal law in force. The science of criminology employs an empirical and interdisciplinary method, inductively, to study offending behavior, the offender, the victim, and the social control of deviant behavior.


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