The Insecurity State: Criminal Law After the ASBO

Hardcover | May 3, 2012

byPeter Ramsay

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For more than a decade, broad and vaguely defined new offences have been enacted in many areas of the criminal law, such as terrorism, money-laundering, fraud, sex offences and anti-social behaviour. These have expanded police powers and prosecutorial discretion with little regard for the ruleof law. Most theorists have explained the gap between legislative policy and the liberal principles of criminal law theory as the result of 'penal populism': politicians have sacrificed sound normative principles in an opportunistic appeal to an angry and fearful electorate.The Insecurity State, by contrast, argues that this so-called 'populism' in the criminal law can claim some normative principles of its own. It identifies these principles through an analysis of the iconic anti-social behaviour order (ASBO), the flagship of recent British criminal justice policy.Demonstrating that the controversial orders impose a liability on those who fail to reassure others about their future security, he traces the justification of this liability through the conditional character of citizenship in New Labour policy to an underlying concept of 'vulnerable autonomy' thatthe ASBO serves to protect. The book argues that the vulnerability of individual autonomy is an idea deeply embedded in the political theories that have most influenced British and American political life in recent decades. He shows that the ASBO is the archetype of a wide range of other recently enacted criminal offences inthe UK and USA that are justified by the same normative structure. Finally it investigates the paradoxical implications of institutionalising the vulnerability of citizens in the terms of the substantive criminal law. In so doing, the book identifies a weakening of political authority at the heartof contemporary security laws.

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For more than a decade, broad and vaguely defined new offences have been enacted in many areas of the criminal law, such as terrorism, money-laundering, fraud, sex offences and anti-social behaviour. These have expanded police powers and prosecutorial discretion with little regard for the ruleof law. Most theorists have explained the g...

Peter Ramsay studied Economics at Nottingham University. He then worked for more than a decade in public relations and publishing before studying law at the University of Westminster and University College London. He was appointed Lecturer in Law at the London School of Economics in 2006 and completed his PhD at King's College London ...

other books by Peter Ramsay

Format:HardcoverDimensions:300 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:May 3, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199581061

ISBN - 13:9780199581061

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I2. Why is it wrong to breach an ASBO?3. What is anti-social behaviour?4. What is an ASBO?Part II5. The vulnerable citizen's right to reassurance6. Theories of active citizenship and vulnerable autonomy7. Vulnerability, human rights and sovereigntyPart III8. The ASBO in criminal law theory9. Is the ASBO's legitimacy sustainable?Appendix A: The police power: is legitimacy the right question?Appendix B: Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Section 1