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Sanders & Young's Criminal Justice

Sanders & Young's Criminal Justice (5th edn)

Lucy Welsh, Layla Skinns, and Andrew Sanders
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date: 08 December 2021

p. 11. The aims and values of ‘criminal justice’locked

p. 11. The aims and values of ‘criminal justice’locked

  • Lucy Welsh,
  • Layla Skinns
  •  and Andrew Sanders

Abstract

This chapter discusses the nature, structure, values and objectives of ‘criminal justice’, together with recent trends, primarily in England and Wales. This includes examining the concepts of guilt and innocence, and the difficulty of ‘proving’ either in many cases; the adversarial nature of the Anglo-American system, contrasted with the inquisitorial approaches that traditionally underpin ‘European’ systems; and the analytical tools of ‘crime control’ and ‘due process’. The importance, and limitation, of the human rights approach in criminal justice is discussed, along with the increasing influences of managerialism and neoliberalism. The chapter then looks at how victims are catered for in these various approaches. It concludes that human rights provide only a bare minimum of protection for suspects and victims alike, and that the system is more exclusionary than inclusionary. Thus a new theoretical framework is proposed that is centred on ‘freedom’, which would prioritise three ‘core values’: justice, democracy and efficiency.

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