Reflections on Criminal Justice as a Social Institution

Lucia Zedner

in The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays in Honour of Paul Rock

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580231
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191702280 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

Reflections on Criminal Justice as a Social Institution

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This chapter reflects upon the meaning of ‘social institution’ and its implications for criminological scholarship. It suggests that conceiving criminal justice as a social institution furnishes an analytical framework for a better understanding of how it operates and also provides the basis for normative reflection about how ‘the social’ might be mobilized to guide and restrain the decisions of criminal justice actors. It also considers the question of what social justice might mean as an internal goal or aspiration of criminal justice practice.

Keywords: social institution; criminological scholarship; criminal justice; social justice; justice

Chapter.  10040 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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