This chapter explores the claim that the task of enacting the criminal law lies exclusively with the state. It establishes that it is for the legislature and the courts to determine the scope and substance of criminal offences. The chapter addresses some clarificatory issues concerning the parameters of privatisation and by critical examining the contention that the allocation and delivery of punishment are separable. It considers what grounds the authority of the state to criminalise and explores the implications of privatisation for the legitimacy of punishment itself. As V. Tadros observes, the criminal justice system is clearly a central and basic institution of society. The chapter deals with an appraisal of the costs of contracting out penal practices and institutions. It concludes that these are but secondary to the fundamental losses to the authority and legitimacy of criminal law and punishment wrought by privatisation.