The principle of minimum criminalisation proposes thatcriminal law ought to prohibit a certain conduct only if it is compulsory. Thisis due to several logical reasons.
Firstly, there is a limitation on the quantityof individuals that can be incarcerated due to lack of space and facilities inprisons. Creating more offenses regularly would cause courts and prisons tobecome overcrowded. More so, criminalising more serious conduct carries themessage that there are certain conducts that aren’t simply just immoral, but immoralenough to result in criminal proceedings. Criminalising conducts that aren’t asserious will remove the importance of this message and will not be as effectivein reducing unpleasant social behaviours. Civil proceedings and gratifying goodbehaviours are other ways in with the law deals with immoral behaviour.
Therefore,having such many statutes that create criminal offences is questionable.The principle of individual autonomy is one of the crucialconcepts in the justification of criminal laws. An individual’s right of livinghis or her life as he or she please (The right or autonomy). This principle isused in criminal law to forestall somebody’s exercise of autonomy from obstructinganother individual’s autonomy. The criminalisation of certain conducts,restricts our option by construction of the legal code.
In relation ofcriminalising failures to act, the law is hindering the individuals’ decisionsand demanding an explicit course of conduct. Henceforth, if we perceiveautonomy as something that should be perpetuated and increased, criminaloffenses, especially those regarding omissions liability, that restrain ourautonomy ought to be kept to a minimum.Autonomy is also the primary approach for the advancement of’choice’ as a critical component of both legal and moral blame. As a result, conducts that the defendantcannot evade must not be criminalised. The most fundamental implications ofthis would rule out the legislation of, for example, sleeping and respiration,where we carry out these actions without choice. Accordingly, the fairness orcriminalising unrealistic choices is debateable.
In other words, where thedefendant commits an offence to avoid threatened sever violence, the defence orduress is applied. Notwithstanding, duress is not in any way permitted as adefence to murder, irrespective if it is highlighted that a reasonable personwould have responded within same manner, and therefore the defendant’s responsewas in a way an inevitable response.