Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the start of the new millennium, technological and societal changes have initiated a transition from physical to virtual spaces. This far-reaching phenomenon has extended to the law and legal institutions, including the criminal law domain. This essay coins the term “virtual criminal law dualism” to describe the dynamic relationship between the virtual and physical spaces in the criminal law sphere. We contend that the transition to virtual spaces has manifested in two distinct aspects. The first relates to formal doctrinal, procedural, and institutional changes that the mainstream criminal law and procedure have undergone due to the emergence of virtual spaces and technological developments (“changes from within”). The second relates to the transformation of criminal law and procedure that occurs under the influence of activities taking place in virtual platforms (“changes from the outside”). By exploring the simultaneous developments stemming from the transition to virtual spaces, we analyze the meaning of these developments, discuss their implications, and offer future directions regarding their potential expansion. We argue that the interplay between virtual and physical spaces is normatively neither encouraged nor discouraged in and of itself. Its value relies on the overarching objectives of the criminal legal system and its capacity to further those objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1472
Number of pages20
JournalUniversity of Illinois Law Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 University of Illinois College of Law. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'VIRTUAL CRIMINAL LAW DUALISM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this