Trending: Call for Papers Volume 3 | Issue 2: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

SANCTIONS by -Shrishti Verma


Punishment, compensations, damages, disciplinary institutions etc. are the distinct instruments of the legal system for persuading justice against the act of an individual who is committed to any act which is progressing against the enforcement of legal constraints.23 If we can observe the ampler perceiving of the judicial instrument mentioned above then the sanctions come into the portraying. The sanction is recognized as the mechanism for executing justice.

Sanction has been derived from the Roman law ‘sanctro’ and in simplified terms, it merely means penalty4 but in the later centuries its meaning evolved and enlarged its scope but still there have been ambiguous interpretations of this term’s meaning. Sanctions can also be used as an ‘inducement conception’5 where it meets specific outcomes depending on the essence of the circumstance it is employed on like, when there is the adherence of appreciation of law formally, positive sanctions are levied and when it considers compromising with the encroachment of legal models, again appears the aspect of negative sanctions. This is not the limitation of the sanctions, it is also used as a ‘hedonic conception’6 as related to inflicting pain on others (by the powerful entity)7; it possesses numerous factors underlying beneath it in the construct of non-legal sanctions, legal sanctions, religious sanctions, community sanctions, international sanctions, moral sanctions etc. Sanctions are the appliances which are conclusively adopted for preserving, promoting the law and order, justice, righteousness, tranquility in between the individual to individual, individual towards the society, community and nation, etc. The scope of the sanctions is not limited to an individual but can be lengthened up to any country which is leading against the international norms arrayed by the hegemonic rule of the superior country.

There are varied schools of opinions which need to be analyzed to discern the actual significance of sanctions8 Some radical principles of sanction have already been deliberated by John Austin while examining the sanctions as one of the substantial ingredients of the imperative law.9 According to him, law and order discharged by the superior jurisdiction can be sustained among the subjects with the cooperation of sanctions as when the subjects will not adhere to the rules and law flowed from the sovereign then the sanctions can be imposed on them. Imposing sanctions is the apprehension of liability or obligation which is considered not to be fulfilled by the ones who have the allegiance to pursue it that have been determined by the superior authority.10

This research paper seeks to justify the jurisprudential security of the sanctions, formerly to fixate on the interpretation of the definitions, with the types of the sanctions and yet narrowing down to look at the comprehensive evaluation of diverse procedures and details of exercising the civil and criminal administration of justice and how they unfolded with the ease of numerous theories and precedents. This research paper also proves to explore the alternative side correlated with sanctions that are the intended and implied effects of operating these strides of applying sanctions on society.


  • Exploration of the meaning of sanctions based on jurisprudential perspective, historical perspectives, and numerous other aspects ascribed to it. Further advance to the evaluation of sanctions based on the prevailing knowledge about
  • Then to delve into the disparate circumstances of sanctions on which it is implemented and to illustrate how the sanction cooperates to uphold the legal, moral, social, community, national and international
  • Then to perceive how the sanctions work in maintaining the civil and criminal justice system with what are steps it takes for exercising these sanctions, likewise to accumulate on the effect of these sections on the


  • What is the essence, rationales, and numerous explanations of sanctions? What are the plentiful aspects encompassed by sanctions? What are the purview and types of sanctions?
  • Examining the administration of justice in the civil legal system?
  • Examining the administration of justice in the criminal legal system?
  • What are the implements of actions chosen for the administration of justice in the legal arrangement in society?


The work titled Jurisprudence and legal theory by MD Mahajan11and another record as First Book on Anglo-American Law12, which were looked upon as exceedingly advantageous for strengthening the underlying principle of the research. Covering various prospects ascribed to the subject matter, also furnished the conceptual basis to the researcher. This book accommodated the witness of the varied philosophers, which further conceived the unbiased perceiving and also stimulated the researcher to interpret the topic in the more formulated manner. This book was satisfied in requiring to make analysts aware of distinct significant magnifications which were appropriated to improve the further understanding of substantial topics like administration of Justice. Nevertheless, it lacks a modern touch. In another paper acknowledged as Legal sanctions13which was one of the most considerable research articles which contributed understanding about the more comprehensive segregation of the civil and criminal administrative system in extension to this; various open perspectives about the subject matter were discussed while contemplating the disparate perceptions in it. Further, in the research article referred to as Crimes Rates and Legal Sanctions14and another article as The Moral and Legal Basis for Sanctions15, both the articles accorded with the modest issues of the subject matter and offered a new direction to the research paper. It also affirmed the contemporary perspective about the subject matter. Both were critical articles for formulating the conception of sanctions. The article titled On Legal Sanctions16and another article on Knowledge about legal sanctions17embodied the disparate theories in an exceptionally striking circumstance, further it comprised the sanctions spread through extreme ends. It encloses a penetrating knowledge which seeks to characterize the mind of the researcher in order to figure out the subject matter but breaks down to ascertain the misinterpretation and misutilization by it.


At the introductory stage of research, the researcher has adopted the Doctrinal form of Research to assemble the secondary sources of data from the e-library like books, journals, reports, covenants, case laws, articles and research paper, acts, code to establish an initial base of research. So that a researcher can be mindful of previously written data on the discussing issues. Then the researcher will determine and review the prevailing knowledge like various theories, precedent about the sanctions and administrations of justice in distinct legal systems. Then the researcher will apply the analysis form of research to examine the effect of the disposing of sanctions on the society.


Understanding Sanctions

Sanctions are repeatedly perceived as the tree for achieving the fruit of carrying out the essence of justice in the society, besides this, its particular branch represents the different ways which can be employed on the circumstantial basis in order to flower the fruit. It has been demonstrated and recognized committed by them in different forms by the distinct jurists and its processes of securing Justice is evolving itself subsequently. Sanctions are corely understood as the mechanism of enticing someone to encircle the individual in the society where the law and justice are prescribed and maintained as professed by the Salmond. Furthermore, he also tries to illustrate the range of sanction where it can be started as the physical force used by the state to the war, which is the ultimate version of sanctions. Another jurist like Hobbes, Bentham views the sanctions from the lense of positive magnification as previously alluded to in the introduction as forbearance capacity of an individual leads him to the way of pleasure sanction which can be acknowledged through rewarding him with the same motive as the negative section which is governing and maintaining justice and peace in the society. Another significant view added from the pollock which gave the categorical view to it is that the nature of sanction is not comprehended among the wrongdoers and lawful men, as it is same for both them. But the distinction is created by the act they do, which to sustain in the society where the state employs numerous versions of sanctions for preserving and developing Peace and Justice in the society. It is also explained as the subsequent inclination of state to promote power in conduct to maintain peace and justice in the society.

Further dilemma sprawls on the point that sanction should be considered as a substantial part of law or not. The jurist on the side of Austin positions that it is the inseparable part of the law. Further, in this point of view, we can pore over the Hobbes who believe that sanctions and law are in the relation which can be justified as the fire without heat or in alternative words human without breathing. On the diverse hand jurist who doesn’t show certainty with the above believe they have the attitude that sanction can be parsed as an effective way of enforcement of law but cannot prevail as the relationship touched on the contrary view as if there are other elements as well which are acknowledged as requisite as sanctions for

the appropriate governance of justice by the state in the society, it can be custom, norm or some belief, general will which the people assign themself to, it can also be the respect for the law, etc. Further, they also reveal the scene where the whole society is against the particular law, formerly no kind of sanction can block the individuals from obliterating it. Another jurist Miller regarded sanction as an artificial motive of pursuing law and he further objectified the true motive of embracing the law by people is by adhering to the trail of least resistance that can be understood without the artificial force such as sanctions. The action of the people in the society which can depend on any belief, any aim, not individually on the dread of sanctions.

Sanctions as an implementation of administering Justice

The principal purpose for which sanctions are instrumentalized is for advocating peace and justice, which is the sole underlying which the society endures and stands for. Administering Justice binds the society simultaneously and thus acts as the sturdiest pillar of the government of any country. It is the form of law which is applied in the society through the administering Justice by state. If the state does not perform this significant function then it is not revered as the state. It is considered as the modern and civilized substitute for the “private vengeance and self-violation” as underwritten by Salmond. In his essence, he believes the force of the state is how administering Justice can be settled, but the other Jurist further speculate that the obedience can also be brought about by assorted other components like a habit, respect, customs and emotions, etc. At last, it was summed out as the force of the state is used based on the situation the state and its subjects are. If the way of administering Justice is wrong, then even the force applied by the state cannot control the subjects.18

There are discrete reasons which initiate the requiring for the state to administer Justice. Human negative behavior of selfishness, greed which necessitates an individual to exploit the other individual and his rights so much that he is left behind in destitution, solidarity ness. Hereby, it becomes critical for an individual to be controlled for preservation of the other members of society and their rights. As every man receives its fascination and commitment to pursue, which may encompass the transgression of the rights of others. In order to satisfy the ends of Justice in society, there is a need for an alternative superior power to men so they can be controlled and can be evolved in a civilized way. Here the presence of sanctions in the society comes into picture where it is strictly operative or may be latently applied so that the society can run in an orderly manner. Legal sanctions are one of the most persuasive forms for the administration of justice, and further, it possesses no comparative substitute.19

The origin of the Administration of Justice and the requirement of sanction

Furthermore, if we proceed toward the origin of the Administration of Justice and requirement of sanction with it, then the origin of the men comes into envisioning, as while living the society, the men himself initiated the need for the administering justice because heretofore the men depended on the self-violence and private vengeance to preserve his conflict of interest, which further conceived the chain of crime where there was fear that everybody can kill anyone for the survival of its own interest and hence it can further menace the life of the whole human community.20

Thus, constituted the need for administering justice with the ease of devising one body hailed as the state. But at that proportion of time the political state formed was not that strong to shield society from the criminals by minimizing the crime and exposing punishment on those who perpetrated it. Because of this, the archaic laws of self-violence extended to abound. Subsequently, the state struggled to administer these traditional laws of private vengeance after making rules and regulation for it. A state reinforces the principle of commensurate punishment free from private vengeance like an ‘eye for an eye’ not ‘life for an eye’. It was the stage where the state was upsetting to control the vengeance and till some intensity, the state was successful to defend it, but still, the arrangements carried out by the state were not enforced properly and a spacious gap was left behind between the society and modern laws of state free from self- vengeance. After passaging time with the emerging strengthening power of the state, their laws also became stronger followed by the enforcement process of formed law besides this elimination of the old laws which operated as the hurdle for the peace, justice required to be settled among the people in the society. Even the punishment was established for exercising private vengeance. The political state mainly used legal sanctions in order to establish the administration of Justice. The sanction played a very influential segment in the state’s formation and in the application of justice by safeguarding the rights of the individual by restricting the wrong by another individual.21

Further, the more structured system for the administration of justice evolved after its division into the criminal administration system and civil administration system. Sanctions applied by the state in both the systems differ from one another.

Role of sanctions in different Administrative System and associated concepts

If we examine the civil Justice system which mainly deals with private or individual wrong which does not affect the society at large like individual property matters, etc. Further, there is some wrong which can be categorized into both the administration system like negligence, defamation etc., but in criminal wrong, the harm generated is more than contrasted to a civil wrong. Civil administration certainly based on the fallout of damages, payment of debt or penalty mainly monetary damages or maybe together with some relief like writs mandamus, certiorari. These impairments are promulgated with the nature of disciplining the wrong done by the party in the monetary sense. While getting deeper about these rights also demonstrates two kinds of rights which are concealed under the civil justice system. These are diagnosed as Primary right and Sanctioning Rights, in which primary rights are not obtained itself from some wrong but are present to the person as out of conduct. Further, if there is the transgression or violation of primary right then the sanctioning right becomes facilitated to obtain the remedial action for the infringement of the primary rights. For example, ‘A’ a man possesses the right to vote or the right to use the public facilities which can be acknowledged as primary rights further if the encroachment of these rights happens, then sanctioning rights comes into the picture. These sanctioning rights include the two kinds of sanction to resource primary rights. These are the compensatory way of reinforcing damages paid by the wrongdoer, on the separate end the non-criminal penalty imposed by the panel action.

Further, the compensatory damages are partitioned into restitution relief where the plaintiff is being brought back to an initial position, whereas in penal redress damages are embodied all the benefit the defendant wrongfully incurred in enhancement to this the loss experienced by the plaintiff.

If we now fixate on the criminal administration system, which influences the society at large and has the main purpose of punishing the wrongdoer of the act committed by him. But further, we have to understand that what is the main purpose behind this kind of sanctions employed by the state which can be figured out by researching various theories which are formed reflecting various purposes enclosed by the sanction of the criminal administrative system22.

These punishment theories can be categorized into five forms which can be segregated as Firstly, Deterrent punishment theory it also exemplifies the most noteworthy prospect of punishment that is, it should act as a deterrence as reasoned out by Salmond, were to discipline the wrongdoer with such an extent further it set an example for other individuals who are wandering in the trail of committing the same crime. The integral reflection of this theory is to determine the direction of an act which must not be committed by anyone otherwise it will lead to terror full consequences. As further dug out in Manú that the punishment is there to keep people under the sphere which is all over bounded by the quality of justice, peace, prosperity in the society if any individual crosses that sphere than the role of punishment comes into the picture to awaken them and brightened them with the path of rectitude. To prevent the harm, infringement of right is precipitated by passing over that sphere of righteousness which is looked after by legal sanctions in the form of punishment. Secondly, the preventive theory which basically accumulates on the physical capacity of the criminal to commit the criminal act second time, it does not have the societal effect as large as the preceding one but done with an only intended to prevent the wrongdoer to commit it again. It can be manifested in the situation that if one person who committed left than the punishment of imprisonment will keep him away from committing that crime again. Thirdly, the Reformative theory which mainly considers the circumstance on which the crime was executed and tries to reform the criminals after also considering the age, character of him. It focuses on making the prisoners a good citizen by transforming them spiritually, intellectually. Physically, morally. Like in the case of Rattan Lal v. the State of Punjab23 also in case of Musa Khan vs. State of Maharashtra24 where this reformative theory has complied within the cases where the offender, circumstances, age mainly juveniles are analyzed under it. This theory sees punishment as the social purpose in some cases where the above-mentioned factors are taken into consideration as conforming to the application of this theory. Fourthly the theory of retributive punishment mainly based on the view of taking revenge from the side of the suffering legally and proportionately of sanctions. This theory is mainly culled from the previous motive of state like an eye for an eye, not a life. Further, mainly this theory of legal vengeance is undertaken in order to achieve justice, peace in the society and also to make suffer the wrongdoer by his body as highlighted by sir Salmond. Another aspect of this theory is the view of atonement where it makes realize to the offender that an act done by him is wrong and is indebted to the law and society which must be made by his adversities. Fifthly the theory of compensation where the crime committed by an offender needed to get punished but also it has another fundamental objective of compensating the victim for the harm and suffering which is caused to a victim by the act of the offender. It also directs the liability of the wrongdoer towards the victim which has cropped up because of the wrong act of conduct. Like in the case of Acid attack survivors where the crime is done which will further have the capacity to dismantle the whole life of the victim affect her socially, physically and mentally and in addition to this also disrupt the life of the peoples connected to the victim. Another case of Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir25 where he was some contravention while pursuing his right to vote, in which the court provided the monetary compensation of rupees fifty thousand rupees. After scrutinizing all these theories, it can further be observed that in the modern world there is no one specific theory which can be implemented precisely in the form of legal sanctions as the extremity of every theory will be dubious to embed as distinct cases have different circumstances to be examined. These theories can be mixedly applied to a certain situation based on its effectiveness of the legal sanction on the situation. There are disparate kinds of punishment which can be applied to the cases accordingly these can be classified like the capital punishment of death, life imprisonment, intermediate imprisonment, corporal punishment, etc. In modern times these sanctions and the objective of punishment are nevertheless the same, but the method in which it is exercised are different in order to make it more humane in nature. For illustration, the use of poisonous injection by distinct countries in order to cause the death of the criminal in an amicable manner. After structuring the understanding of the administration system and its classification, we got a better idea of sanction and its importance, its ways, various forms and theories related to it.26


Various theories and distinctive perspective helped us to recognize the role of sanctions in the administration of Justice, if administration of Justice is the sphere of righteousness which seek to array the layer of Justice, peace around the society in order to insulate it from the obscure of injustice, greediness of the individual, infringement of rights than sanction act as guards which are there to assure this layer if individual crosses in, it displays the direction to them about the acts which are unlawful to conduct and will prejudice the individual referring to the same.

But the complication takes place when these motives of sanctions are contaminated by the pollution of misinterpretation and misutilization in the society and also in the state, where it is merely resorted for manipulating people not to serve them or shelter them as a securer. It is the plight where the guard of the layer of righteousness acts exploited by the state after interpreting its own benefit with the modified objective, which is altogether disparate from the purpose which should be served in the administration of Justice. It can also be the instance where sanctions are held as the gun for the state where it compels people to commit a crime or wrongly used against those who try to follow the administration of Justice. As the time evolved the motive of the state is certainly distinctive from the initial formation of it, in simultaneously with this the purpose of sanctions also changed.

Further, it is accessible for the state to control people as sanctions are present everywhere like even if one person goes to purchase some product to the market from home, it encompasses more than five peculiar laws till then. The problem is not that there are so many sanctions, but the problem lies in the fact that these sanctions are not accurately enforced or indeed can be mis-enforced against that travelling individual. In enhancement to this, there is also the fear that if any member of the state will squander his power on him, formerly anything can take place with him, he can be murdered, he can be even arrested by the police in a false sense, raped, acid can be thrown on her and other crimes too can take effect where the administrative system will not competent to target the main criminal but the puppet of the main criminal. The same thing can be manifested in the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act which is an act compromising with the terrorist activities in India where they have the power to arrest any citizen in the name of one doubt concerning them if they are exhibiting some moist or terrorist behavior in the country.

This terrorist behavior is not apparently marked but has the power to wreck the lives of the individual who is charged under it. Further, oftenest of the arrests made under it more than fifty percent of them are made acquittal.

There is the calling for the proper imposition of sanctions and also to understand them in the way where it streamlined with the purpose of administration of Justice. There is also the need for understanding sanctions in the better approach, as its scope is broadening with an increased purview of cyberspace. Further, the people should perceive what law and sanctions in the community classes so they cannot slip into the ambush of all misinterpretation and misutilization of sanctions done by the state.

1 Student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad

  1. George Goble, The Sanction of a Duty, 37 YALE L.J 426, 426-444. (1928) http://www.jstor.com/stable/790267 02 Aug 2020 04:08:31
  2. Ambrose Farrell, LAWLESSNESS,     LAW,     AND     SANCTION,     19     WILEY      218, 349-355      (1938).

http://www.jstor.com/stable/43811164 Sun, 02 Aug 2020 04:07:16.

  1. DR. D. MAHAJAN, JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL   THEORY   45 (Eastern Book Company 5th ed. 1987).

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.553373/page/n73/mode/2up 7 july 6: 30 2020

  1. Jack Gibbs, Sanctions, 14 SOC. PROBS. 147 (1966). https://home.heinonline.org/ 21 july 23:30 2020
  2. at 1.
  3. at 1.
  4. David Hunter Miller, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science in the City of New York, 12 THE ACADEMY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE 45, 45-48 (1926) https://jstor.org/stable/1180358 Accessed: 02-08-2020 04:14
  5. DR. D. MAHAJAN, JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL THEORY 26 (Eastern Book Company 5th ed. 1987).
  6. Supra note
  8. Rattan Lal State of Punjab AIR (1965) SC 444.(India)
  9. Musa Khan v. State of Maharashtra AIR (1976) SC 2566.(India) Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir (1986) Cri LJ 192.(India)
  10. DR. D. MAHAJAN, JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL THEORY 26 (Eastern Book Company 5th ed. 1987).
  12. Jerome Hall, Legal Sanctions, 6 NAT. F. 119 (1961).
  13. Charles Tittle, Crime Rates and Legal Sanctions, 16 SOC. PROBS. 409 (1969).
  14. Anthony D’Amato, The Moral and Legal Basis for Sanctions, 19 FLETCHER WORLD AFF. 19 (1995).
  15. Richard Schwartz & Sonya Orleans, On Legal Sanctions, 34 U. CHI. L. REV. 274 (1967).
  16. Stephen Bundy &EinerElhauge, Knowledge about Legal Sanctions, 92 MICH. L. REV. 261 (1993).

26.Supra note 8.