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This book addresses the use of biometrics – including fingerprint identification, DNA identification and facial recognition – in the criminal justice system: balancing the need to ensure society is protected from harms, such as crime and terrorism, while also preserving individual rights. It offers a comprehensive discussion of biometric identification that includes a consideration of: basic scientific principles, their historical development, the perspectives of political philosophy, critical security and surveillance studies; but especially the relevant law, policy and regulatory issues. Developments in key jurisdictions where the technology has been implemented, including the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and Australia, are examined. This includes case studies relating to the implementation of new technology, policy, legislation, court judgements, and where available, empirical evaluations of the use of biometrics in criminal justice systems. Examples from non-western areas of the world are also considered. Accessibly written, this book will be of interest to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students, academic researchers, as well as professionals in government, security, legal and private sectors.
Property relations are such a common feature of social life that the complexity of the web of laws, practices, and ideas that allow a property regime to function smoothly are often forgotten. But we are quickly reminded of this complexity when conflict over property erupts. When social actors confront a property regime – for example by squatting – they enact what can be called ‘contested property claims’. As this book demonstrates, these confrontations raise crucial issues of social justice and show the ways in which property conflicts often reflect wider social conflicts. Through a series of case studies from across the globe, this multidisciplinary anthology brings together works from anthropologists, legal scholars, and geographers, who show how exploring contested property claims offers a privileged window onto how property regimes function, as well as an illustration of the many ways that the institution of property shapes power relationships today.
Accusing someone of committing a crime arrests everyday social relations and unfurls processes that decide on who to admit to criminal justice networks. Accusation demarcates specific subjects as the criminally accused, who then face courtroom trials, and possible punishment. It inaugurates a crime’s historical journey into being with sanctioned accusers successfully making criminal allegations against accused persons in the presence of authorized juridical agents. Given this decisive role in the production of criminal identities, it is surprising that criminal accusation has received relatively short shrift in sociological, socio-legal and criminological discourses. In this book, George Pavlich redresses this oversight by framing a socio-legal field directed to political rationales and practices of criminal accusation. The focus of its interrogation is the truth-telling powers of an accusatory lore that creates subjects within the confines of socially authorized spaces. And, in this respect, the book has two overarching aims in mind. First, it names and analyses powers of criminal accusation – its history, rationales, rites and effects – as an enduring gateway to criminal justice. Second, the book evaluates the prospects for limiting and/or changing apparatuses of criminal accusation. By understanding their powers, might it be possible to decrease the number who enter criminal justice’s gates? This question opens debate on the subject of the book’s final section: the prospects for more inclusive accusative grammars that do not, as a reflex, turn to exclusionary visions of crime and vengeful, segregated, corrective or risk-orientated punishment. Highlighting how expansive criminal justice systems are populated by accusatorial powers, and how it might be possible to recalibrate the lore that feeds them, this ground-breaking analysis will be of considerable interest to scholars working in socio-legal research studies, critical criminology, social theory, postcolonial studies and critical legal theory.
This book critically investigates modern international law – assessing the range of its ambitions and, crucially, its failings. Drawing upon the history of early modern political thought and contemporary critical theory, the book argues that modern international law needs to be understood as an extension of the political and economic tradition of liberalism. Liberalism’s promise of the ‘good’ is international law’s promise. But from the beginning, and throughout modernity, this promise is broken. Tarik Kochi trace the outlines of this liberal promise – of liberty and security – obtained through the early modern conceptual innovation of possessive individualism, private property rights and a market economy. He then shows how this promise has been broken, producing forms of domination, insecurity and inequality that are enacted by international law. Sticking to this promise, liberal international law is unable to adequately come to terms with contemporary crises of global war, terrorism, poverty and environmental destruction. And, in response to this paradox, what The Global Good proposes is a return to conceptions of law and the good which prefigure the early modern liberal shift to the privatisation of rights and possessive individualism – that of an alternative global good sketched around the idea of the commons.
In New Zealand, as well as in Australia, Canada and other comparable jurisdictions, Indigenous peoples comprise a significantly disproportionate percentage of the prison population. For example, Maori, who comprise 15% of New Zealand’s population, make up 50% of its prisoners. For Maori women, the figure is 60%. These statistics have, moreover, remained more or less the same for at least the past thirty years. With New Zealand as its focus, this book explores how the fact that Indigenous peoples are more likely than any other ethnic group to be apprehended, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated, might be alleviated. Taking seriously the rights to culture and to self-determination contained in the Treaty of Waitangi, in many comparable jurisdictions (including Australia, Canada, the United States of America), and also in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the book make the case for an Indigenous court founded on Indigenous conceptions of proper conduct, punishment, and behavior. More specifically, the book draws on contemporary notions of ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ and ‘restorative justice’ in order to argue that such a court would offer an effective way to ameliorate the disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous peoples.
The concept of the cultural commons has become increasingly important for legal studies. Within this field, however, it is a contested concept: at once presented as a sphere for creativity, democratic access and freedom of speech, but one that denies property rights and misappropriates the public domain. In this book, Merima Bruncevic takes up the cultural commons not merely as an abstract notion, but in its connection to physical spaces such as museums and libraries. A legal cultural commons can, she argues, be envisioned as a lawscape that can quite literally be entered and engaged with. Focusing largely on art in the context of the copyright regime, but also addressing a number of cultural heritage issues, the book draws on the work of Deleuze and Guattari in order to examine the realm of the commons as a potential space for overcoming the dichotomy between the owner and the consumer of culture. Challenging this dichotomy, it is the productive and creative potential of law itself that is elicited through the book’s approach to the commons as the empirical basis for a new legal framework, which is able to accommodate a multitude of interests and values.
This volume addresses the exercise of personal autonomy in contemporary situations of normative pluralism. In the Western liberal tradition, from a strictly legal and theoretical perspective the social individual has the right to exercise the autonomy of his or her will. In a context of legal plurality, however, personal autonomy becomes more complicated. Can and should personal autonomy be recognized as a legal foundation for protecting a person’s freedom to renounce what others view as his or her fundamental ‘human rights’? This collection develops an interdisciplinary conceptual framework to address these questions and presents empirical studies examining the gap between the principle of personal autonomy and its implementation. In a context of cultural diversity, this gap manifests itself in two particular ways. First, not every culture gives the same pre-eminence to personal autonomy when examining the legal effects of an individual’s acts. Second, in a society characterized by ‘weak pluralism’, the legal assessment of personal autonomy often favours the views of the dominant majority. In highlighting these diverse perspectives and problematizing the so-called ‘guardian function’ of human rights, i.e., purporting to protect weaker parties by limiting their personal autonomy in the name of gender equality, fair trial, etc., this book offers a nuanced approach to the principle of autonomy and addresses the questions of whether it can effectively be deployed in situations of internormativity and what conditions must be met in order to ensure that it is not rendered devoid of all meaning.