UCL Faculty of Laws


Hybrid | Living Non-Criminal Lives

26 April 2022, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Image of scales

This event is organised by the Institute for Laws, Politics and Philosophy (ILPP)

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws

Please note that the time allocated for this colloquia will be devoted to discussion of the paper.

Speaker: Prof. Matt Matravers (University of York)

About the Paper

The focus of this paper is to address the question of what kinds of reasons the state has to help its citizens to live non-criminal lives. On first reading, that might seem odd given that the answer(s) might seem obvious, but I hope over the course of the paper to show that they are not. This is in part because I hope to show that the obvious most general answer – that the state has both instrumental and non-instrumental reasons to do so – obscures some important and interesting issues. The argument is in three steps. The first two consider two very different applications of instrumental reasons; one broad and systemic and one narrow. The third considers positive non-instrumental reasons for state action with respect to the specific example of desistance. The point of the chapter is less to determine answers to specific questions – ‘what precise reason do we have to do x and how weighty is it in relation to the conflicting reason to do y?’ – than it is to indicate the kinds of arguments that need to be made to answer such questions.

About the Speaker

Matt Matravers is Professor of Law and Director of the Morrell Centre for Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of York. In 2021-23, he holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, “Criminalisation and punishment: philosophical theory and practical reality”. As part of that, in 2021-2022, he is Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Criminology and Visiting Professorial Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, both at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of two monographs (Justice and Punishment, OUP, 2000, and Responsibility and Justice, Polity, 2007), and numerous papers in legal and political philosophy. In addition, he has edited seven collections of papers the latest of which is The Criminal Law’s Person (Hart/Bloomsbury, 2022). 

About the Institute

The Institute brings together political and legal theorists from Law, Political Science and Philosophy and organises regular colloquia in terms 2 and 3. If you would like to be added to the ILPP mailing list please contact us at laws-events@ucl.ac.uk

Book your place

This seminar will be held as hybrid event and will allow a small in-person (at UCL Laws, Bentham House) audience as well as a online audience. If you secure a place in-person but fall sick or are no longer able to attend do contact us at laws-event@ucl.ac.uk and we can transfer your ticket to an online one. 

Book for an in-person ticket

Book an online ticket

For our online audience this seminar will be delivered via Zoom Meeting. Attendee cameras can be turned on however microphones will need to be turned off unless when contributing to discussions or putting forward a question for our guest speaker. You will receive your zoom joining link on registration, as well as a link to the paper. Contact the Laws Events team (laws-events@ucl.ac.uk) if you have not received the link.