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In the description of the offence for the purpose of
prohibition, punishment, and other operations subservient
to the object purpose of prevention it will be necessary
or at least advantageous to the legislator
to include on the one hand the whole assemblage of the distinguishable acts or oper
operations concerned, neither found on the other
hand the whole assemblage of the different descriptions
of persons that are on any occasion may come
to be concerned – in the production of the obnoxious
effect. This may be endeavoured either 1. by
generic terms sufficiently comprehensive or by specific
terms sufficiently numerous and precise. Neither
of these expedients are to be neglected: the latter is useful
for facility of intelligence: the former for permanence
of effect. Observation and memory The latter will be
the work of history; the former, of genius. Observation
and memory will be the faculties employ’d in the description
of the latter: imagination, in the description
of the former. Specification must comprize every
thing that has been done: Generic notation every
thing that either has been done or can be done.
Specification is necessary for the information of the delinquent,
that he may see beyond a doubt that his
case has been provided for and that in case of
his perseverance in delinquency the hand of the
law will reach: it is also more necessary nor is it altogether unnecessary for the information
of the Judge, that he may be forearmed
against all doubts with regard to the real intention
and true interpretation of the law. But were had
the necessity of it no other>/add> it only with reference to the person exposed to the temptation
of falling into delinquency that the <add>demand for specification
and place
would be sufficient to prescribe the use of it: for cruel at once
and impotent is that
law which wants any
of the necessary means
for conveying to the knowledge
of any one of those whose conduct it is designed to guide.

Identifier: | JB/149/179/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 149.


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jeremy bentham


g&ep 1794


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