Preparatory Offences: a Challenge to Criminal Law Boundaries, Democracy and Human Rights Principles

  • Ronnakorn Bunmee Thammasat University


It is true that one of the principal objectives of law is ‘the care of security’. And the most powerful weapon in this war to protect security, one might first think, is the criminal law. We should therefore desire our criminal law to be as strong as possible to match the threats caused by harmful conduct in order to ensure our safety. However, even though we might gain better personal security against criminal conduct through stronger criminal law, we also simultaneously risk undermining the other side of the coin of security which is political security against State interference i.e. liberty. Therefore, too strong criminal law is as dangerous as weak criminal law. In this sense, criminal law is a double-edged sword. To strike a balance, criminal law must respect the liberty of both potential victims and the potentially accused; if either side has been unjustifiably favoured, the citizenry will be at risk of either being unnecessarily victimized or unfairly criminalized. None the less, in the thirst for security especially when facing serious harm, the State tends to ignore the balance and opts to extend the boundaries of criminal law in an unprincipled manner. Many types of preventive criminal laws have been increasingly used in order to pre-empt prohibited harm.


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How to Cite
Bunmee, R. (2016). Preparatory Offences: a Challenge to Criminal Law Boundaries, Democracy and Human Rights Principles. Social Science Asia, 2(3), 1-29. Retrieved from
Research Article