Chapter

Social justice, legitimacy and criminal justice

David Faulkner and Ros Burnett

in Where Next For Criminal Justice?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305569 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428929.003.0002
Social justice, legitimacy and criminal justice

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This chapter sets some parameters for the discussion that follows. It asks what people are doing when they talk about justice, especially criminal justice, and examines theories of justice and the significance of the related concepts of the rule of law, fairness, procedural justice and the legitimacy of the authority of the state. The chapter continues with a discussion of the — perhaps changing — relationship between the state and the citizen, and the implications of treating criminal justice as a ‘system’, to be managed as if it were a ‘business’. It concludes with some reflections on the language in which public discussion of criminal justice often takes place. The theme that emerges from the chapter is that ‘justice’ cannot be equated with political or managerial objectives such as efficiency or effectiveness, or merely with measurable outcomes in terms of reductions in crime and reoffending or increases in public confidence.

Keywords: procedural justice; rule of law; legitimacy; communities; fair; value pluralism; human rights; citizenship; state; conflict resolution

Chapter.  9043 words. 

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