Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics - Rechtsgut

The Rechtsgut Theory


It was planned from the outset that the Centre should also be active in comparative criminal law theory. The Centre's first such project concerns the German idea of the Rechtsgut (legally protected interest) that has been fundamental to German criminal-law theory, and its relation to Anglo-American notions of the 'Harm Principle'. A colloquium on this topic was held in Dresden in April 2002, in which a number of leading German criminal-law theorists participated.

The product has been a book of essays on various aspects of Rechtsgutstheorie and its relation to conceptions of criminal harm. The book, published in Germany, appeared under the title, R. Hefendehl, A. von Hirsch, and W. Wohlers (eds), Die Rechtsgutstheorie: Legitimationsbasis des Strafrechts oder dogmatisches Glasperlenspiel?, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft (2003).