Criminalisation in respect of public order: interests, setbacks and wrongs

Guo, Zhilong (2018) Criminalisation in respect of public order: interests, setbacks and wrongs. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2018GuoPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (2MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This thesis sets out an argument as to the principles which should determine the scope of public order crimes. The Preface demonstrates that the definition and scope of public order and corresponding public order crimes are arbitrary. In order to arrive at a clear definition of public order interests which can be applied in limiting the scope of offences against public order, in the first chapter the substantive elements of public order are constructed as categories of life convenience, comfort and peace, while the formal publicness is demarcated as multiple subjects of an interest as opposed to one specified subject of the interest.
Taking Feinberg’s moral limits of criminalisation as its starting point, the second chapter restates the concepts of ‘harm to others’ and ‘offence to others’ as criminalisation frameworks applicable to public order crimes. In order to justify criminalisation, harm should be an objective, recognisable, imputable and wrongful setback to a physical interest, while offence should be a communicative, imputable and wrongful setback to inner peace based on normative sensibilities. Accordingly, harm/offence to the interests of others in smooth civil life is the moral basis for forming and shaping rules of criminalising disruptions of public order. The third chapter categorises problems of imputing public disorder and public offence and approaches these problems by proposing a formal test of substantial risk and, if necessary, a substantive test of counterbalancing justification.
In order to address the problems of public order law in practice, the final two chapters apply the principles developed in the thesis to a number of typical public order problems. These chapters demonstrate that the valid scope of criminalising typical public order related conduct such as disorderly begging, loitering, indecencies and insults can be sensibly determined by the argued steps of limiting criminalisation. These two chapters identify some categories of truly intrusive and wrongful conduct that correspond to legal interests in convenience and comfort and inner peace.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from Chinese Scholarship Council and University of Glasgow.
Keywords: Criminalisation, public order, interest, setback, wrong, imputation, life quality, inner peace, harm, offence, begging, loitering, indecency, insult.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Funder's Name: China Scholarship Council
Supervisor's Name: Farmer, Professor Lindsay and Chalmers, Professor James
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Mr Zhilong Guo
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30750
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2018 08:45
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 14:39

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year