Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 4: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]



The conflict between utilitarianism and natural rights, the two moral theories that have influenced modern Western philosophy, is fundamental to the notion of criminal justice.[1]The writings of Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham serve as examples of their opposing viewpoints. According to Bentham, the only way for a criminal legislation to be just is if it follows the utilitarian ideal of maximising the happiness of all those who are subject to it.[2]However, Kant evaluated criminal justice according to a non-teleological deontological standard that asks whether it creates rules that free and rational people would impose upon themselves as equals rather than using the teleological goal of maximising good outcomes.[3]

Punitive measures are necessary to safeguard the interests of society and the victims, but the question arises to what extent these punitive measures should be taken into account. There are several punitive approaches that violate the human rights of the accused. Even punishments that do not intrinsically breach human rights in practice. This applies most obviously to the most severe punishments such as the death penalty and life imprisonment, but lesser terms of imprisonment and other punishments also restrict human rights. It is thus an important part of the human rights agenda to see that in the imposition of punishments human rights standards are respected and conditions for limitations are met.

Fundamental rights are inherent to all people, including those who are incarcerated. However, in many countries, the rights of prisoners are often disregarded during their confinement, which is unacceptable. Regardless of a person’s criminal status, their basic human rights should be respected and upheld.[4]

This project aims to take a modest step towards starting a conversation on prisoners’ rights. The goal of this project is to promote the recognition and advancement of different groups that are knowledgeable about and actively engaged in a variety of criminal concerns. Making sure that prisoners’ rights are back on the political agenda is the aim.[5]It facilitates the expression of diverse voices and ensures that both these voices and their supporting organizations are heard, with their identities and concerns acknowledged in all their variety.

Indian Constitution is silent on the right of the accused but in the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. Challa Ramkrishnan Reddy,[6] Supreme court held that“the prisoners are also a person and they will not lose their basic constitutional rights.”

The Supreme Case stated that a “prisoners whether a convict, under- trial or detenu, does not cease to be a being human being and while lodged in jail, he enjoys all his FRs as mentioned by the constitution including Article 21-right to life.”

It is very difficult to understand why there is lawlessness in the State, even though the constitution guarantees several rights and there are strong advocates of human rights, such asJustice Krishna Iyer and Justice P.N. Bhagwati, who support the rights of detainees and prisoners. Yet, there are numerous cases of human rights violations. The answer to this question remains hidden behind bars.

[1]David A. J. Richards & Nigel Walker, Human Rights and Criminal Punishment, 49 The University of Chicago Law Review 235 (1982).

[2]Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, History of Economic Thought Books (1781).


[4]David Brown & Meredith Wilkie, Prisoners as Citizens: Human Rights in Australian Prisons (2002).


[6] State of Andhra Pradesh v. Challa Ramkrishnan Reddy , AIR 2000 SC 2083.