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(p. 52) Part 2 Exploring Crime 

(p. 52) Part 2 Exploring Crime

Steve Case

, Phil Johnson

, David Manlow

, Roger Smith

, and Kate Williams

Page of

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date: 25 May 2020

This chapter explains what crime is and what sorts of activities are criminalised and why. It begins by considering how society decides exactly which activities should be classed as crimes and goes on to discuss crime from an international human rights perspective. It then looks at crime as a social construct and its relation to deviance, the reasons why some actions are criminalised, the harm principle, and how crime differs from social harm. It also examines whether we need the criminal law in order to hold people to account and punish them, or whether a system designed to deal with any harm caused without apportioning blame would be more effective in ensuring safe and content communities.

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