Aberdeen symposium: ‘Criminal Justice in Crisis?’ (17th-18th October)


Call for papers

Criminal Justice in Crisis? 

University of Aberdeen,
Friday 17th – Sat 18th October 2008
The School of Law at the University of Aberdeen is delighted to announce the call for papers for an international conference on Criminal Justice in Crisis?.

The introduction, interpretation and application of laws and rights, and the development of policies in the criminal sphere are increasingly influenced by a sense of crisis. Emergency provisions, whether to deal with terrorism or the threat of organised criminality, are gaining currency in a zero-sum playoff between liberty and security. The fight against illegal drugs is characterised as a war with a concomitant adoption of robust measures, and a similarly punitive approach is taken regarding sexual offences.

This panic-driven discourse on crime is seen to justify and indeed necessitate the erosion of core due process rights. Traditional norms in the justice system have been altered, with civil tactics being used to deal with what were once strictly criminal matters, and a growing involvement by the legislature in the domain of sentencing. Penal policies seem to be driven by populist and pragmatic demands; sentencing involves a growing emphasis on retribution; and strict demarcations are drawn between the majority and the criminal “Other”. Moreover, the victim plays a strengthened role, which holds the potential to undercut the protection for the accused.

The School of Law at the University of Aberdeen invites paper proposals on Criminal Justice in Crisis? from academics and doctoral scholars, and welcomes doctrinal, theoretical and empirical work.

It is envisaged that the conference will include streams concerning, but not limited to, the following topics:
•    Due process rights and law of evidence
•    Youth offending
•    Sexual offences
•    Punishment and penal policy
•    Policing
•    Organised crime
•    Victimology


Dr Liz Campbell
Lecturer in Law
University of Aberdeen, AB24 3UB
+44 1224 272438