Is the familiar distinction worth drawing? What justifies criminalizing wrongs, and bringing criminal proceedings against wrongdoers, is that this contributes to some larger social good—to the framework of legal rules we need for independence, or to the community remaining true to itself. If this is right, those who plead a justification do not always deny, but sometimes concede, wrongdoing.
That such duties are part and parcel of a valuable form of relationship helps explains why we should think that they exist. Possessing a gun is not itself harmful. Rather, there are many harm principles Tadros a; Tomlin b; Edwards The value of friendship is a reason to make friends.
It is merely to say that criminal law is to be justified in punitive terms. Or must we only include harm done to others without their consent Mill ; Dworkin ; Feinberg ; Coons and Weber ? On both the Kantian and communitarian views this is not the case.
The idea that each actus reus element should have a corresponding mens rea element is known as the correspondence principle Ashworth If it is, those who appeal to impersonal values to justify criminal law can explain why the moot court is not permitted to force us to give up our money.