Volume 19, Issue 2 (2012)                   IQBQ 2012, 19(2): 43-65 | Back to browse issues page

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Habibzadeh M J. Disproportionate Punishments as Violation of Human Dignity. IQBQ. 19 (2) :43-65
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-4290-en.html
Abstract:   (2400 Views)
Disproportionate punishments are those punishments passed or enforced without considering the criteria of proportionality, namely the criteria of harm done, the absolute or relative seriousness of crimes, the kind of committed crime and offender characteristics, the degree and kind of victim’s culpability. Considering the penological aims, such as retribution, deterrence and securing social defense, as a part of proportionality test, in the process of determining, distinguishing and enforcing proportionate punishments, is contrary to the rationale and philosophy of proportionality principle. In fact, this approach eviscerates this principle and leaves only an empty shell. The main cause of the prohibition of disproportionate punishments in the international, regional, national human rights' documents is the proscription of using human beings as a means to an end (instrumentalism), aiming at the heart of human dignity. In the Iranian legal system, there are no clear rules and regulations about the prohibition of these kinds of punishments and the determined punishments in many penal codes, such as the Islamic penal code (1991, 1996), the Penal Code of Armed Forces Crimes (2003), the Act against Narcotics (1997) and the Punishment aggravating Act of Bribery, Embezzlement and Fraud (1988) are not compatible with the standards of proportionality, especially with the absolute and relative seriousness of offences, offender characteristics and victim’s culpability. This article tries to explore the principal criteria of proportionality between crime and punishment, the concept of disproportionate punishments and the philosophical foundations of the prohibition of such punishments and their contradiction with human dignity.
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Received: 2011/10/25 | Accepted: 2011/12/26 | Published: 2013/01/17

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