Discussion Group: Teaching and Studying Vice

Document Type


Publication Date


Conference / Event Title

Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2015 Annual Conference

Conference / Event Location

Boca Raton, FL


This group will facilitate discussion among those who teach and write about vice behaviors — consensual adult activities like pornography, prostitution, drugs, and gambling. Criminal regulation of vice is at the very core of contemporary debates in criminal law, procedure, and policing. For criminal law theorists, vice crimes implicate the theoretical limits on state power to punish private actions, the role of morality in legal regulation, and the moral proximity of human behavior and resulting social harm. For criminal procedure scholars, vice crimes have been central to the development of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. For policing scholars, vice crimes implicate investigatory tactics, officer discretion, and the role of police as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system.

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