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After an initial discussion (§i) of what a theory of criminal law might amount to, I sketch (§ii) the proper aims of a liberal, republican criminal law, and discuss (§§iiiiv) two central features of such a criminal law: that it deals with public wrongs, and provides for those who perpetrate such wrongs to be called to public account. §v explains why a liberal republic should maintain such a system of criminal law, and §vi tackles the issue of criminalization—of how we should determine the proper scope of the criminal law.