Leonid Savyuk1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Portraits of Legal Scholars: Jeremia Bentham

2012. No. 4. P. 19–38 [issue contents]

Savyuk Leonid  - Professor, Criminal Law Department, National Research University Higher School of Economics, LLD. E-mail: lk.savyk@gmail.com
Address: National Research University — Higher School of Economics, 20, Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

The article represents the retrospective view of J. Bentham's ideas on the state, law, moral and their historical dependence. They are worth mentioning for liberalization and democratization of political and legal life of modern Russia including criminal legislation. This the area in which the scholar made his view similar to the postulates of the classical theory of criminal law. Bentham developed the theory, grounded the ideas which may be recognized as viable. He managed to study every institution of criminal law, which should encourage criminal law experts to study the theory of the scholar. His analytical method became model in science. His legal theory is one of the best among those of his predecessors and contemporaries including Ch.Montesquieu, C. Helvétius, C. Beccaria. Having rejected common law theory, Bentham and his followers relied on the utilitarian interpretation of law seeking to implement specific social aims. They were the forerunners of the modern economic analysis of law, and in particular criminal law. The subject of legislation is common benefit according to J. Bentham and the main aim is in the benefit and happiness for the mankind – this is the leitmotif of all his works. J. Bentham listened to the demands of real life and implemented his views and theories. He proposed his projects to the governments of many countries including Russia where he lived for several years, corresponded with the tsar Alexander I on participating in drafting legislation. The review of Bentham’s works shows that they were influenced by the transformation processes in the UK which, hypothetically, resemble social and historical changes in the modern Russia. Russia is becoming an early capitalist state being now at the second stage of the process. In this regard, the thinker’s works are of great interest for interpreting Russian interpretation of law.

Citation: Saviuk Korneevich Leonid (2012) Portrety uchenykh-iuristov: Ieremiia Bentam [Portraits of Legal Scholars: Jeremia Bentham] Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 4, pp. 19-38 (in Russian)
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