Mar 8, 1997

David Friedman: Should We Abolish Criminal Law?

David D. Friedman is an economist, political philosopher, and the author of many books including The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, wherein he lays the groundwork for a society based exclusively on voluntary transactions.

In this lecture, Friedman examines the differences between civil and criminal systems of law. He imagines what the U.S. legal system would look like if criminal law were dissolved — that is, if the legal system was composed entirely of individuals bringing claims against each other. Friedman anticipates the problems raised by such a system and attempts to come up with solutions to the contrary.