The Justice Without Retribution Network

The Justice Without Retribution Network

Aims of the Network

The Justice Without Retribution Network (JWRN) will bring together researchers from law, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, from a range of jurisdictions. The Network will explore the practical implications of free will scepticism for the criminal justice system. It will consider whether non-retributive approaches to criminal behaviour that do not rely on a traditional understanding of free will can be ethically defensible and practically workable. The Network Directors plan to organize a number of events focused on these issues, including conferences in 2016 and 2017 (see below). We are currently applying for funding for the Network’s activities.

Key Questions

Some of the key questions we will explore include:

  • Can non-retributive approaches to punishment adequately deal with criminal behaviour?
  • What specific non-retributive programmes could be introduced to reduce offending?
  • Do the arguments of free will sceptics rest on empirical assumptions/claims that are well founded (e.g. claims about the prevalence of retributive attitudes, the downside/upside of such attitudes, and the possibility of changing such attitudes)?
  • Are empirical researchers' hypotheses concerning free will and retribution conceptually coherent?

Network Directors

Professor Gregg Caruso, Corning (SUNY)

Dr Farah Focquaert (Ghent University)

Professor Derk Pereboom (Cornell University)

Dr Elizabeth Shaw (University of Aberdeen)

Future Network Activities

  • JWRN Conference I: Cornell University, June 2016 (draft programme attached)
  • JWRN Conference II: Ghent University, February 2017 (draft programme attached)

Contact Details

For further information please contact