Ethics and Criminal Justice

Andrew Ashworth

in Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780198259312
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681936 | DOI:
Ethics and Criminal Justice

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This chapter describes the ethical problems in the criminal law jurisdictions. The concern of this chapter is with one particular kind of criticism — that certain conduct in criminal justice is unethical. The focus is on the pre-trial stages of criminal justice, leaving aside the substantive criminal law and sentencing. Much discussion of ethics in criminal justice takes the dilemma of the individual lawyer as the central issue. Topics covered include ethics and crime, rules and ethics, developing ethical principles for criminal justice, identifying ‘unethical’ practices, understanding ‘unethical’ behaviour, justifying ‘unethical’ behaviour by challenging the ethics, unethical standpoints, and criminal justice reform through ethics. It concludes by reconsidering the implications of codes of ethics for the practice of criminal justice.

Keywords: codes of ethics; criminal justice; criminal law jurisdiction; crime; lawyer

Chapter.  14876 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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