Over the last decade there has arisen considerable disquiet about the relationship between criminal justice and its publics. This has been expressed in a variety of different ways, ranging from a concern that state criminal justice has moved too far away from the concerns of ordinary people (become too distant, too out of touch, insufficiently reflective of different groups in society) to the belief that the police have been attending to the wrong priorities, that the state has failed to reduce crime, that people still feel a general sense of insecurity.
Governments have sought to respond to these concerns throughout Europe and North America but the results have challenged people's deeply held beliefs about what justice is and what the state's role should be. The need to innovate in response to local demands has hence resulted in some very different initiatives. This book is concerned to delve further into this contested relationship between criminal justice and its publics. Written by experts from different countries as a new initiative in comparative criminal justice, it reveals how different the intrinsic cultural attitudes in relation to criminal justice are across Europe.
This is a time when states' monopoly on criminal justice is being questioned and they are being asked on what basis their legitimacy rests, challenged by both globalization and localization. The answers reflect both cultural specificity and, for some, broader moves towards reaching out to citizens and associations representing citizens.
Joanna Shapland is Professor of Criminology in the Department of Law at the University of Sheffield.
1. Contested ideas of community and justice, Joanna Shapland 2. 'Proximity justice' in France: anything but 'justice and community'? Anne Wyvekens 3. How civil society is on the criminal justice agenda in France, Philip A. Milburn 4. Crime control in Germany: too serious to leave it to the people? - the great exception? Axel Groenemeyer 5. Sweeping the street: civil society and community safety in Rotterdam, Rene van Swaaningen 6. Lay elements in the criminal justice system of the Netherlands, Marijke Malsch 7. Refiguring the community and professional in policing and criminal justice: some questions of legitimacy, Adam Crawford 8. Who owns justice? Community, state and the Northern Ireland transition, Kieran McEvoy and Anna Eriksson 9. Policing, 'community' and social change in Ireland, Aoghan Mulcahy 10. New directions in Canadian justice: from state workers to community 'representatives', Isabelle Bartkowiak and Mylene Jaccoud