We all have notions of what it means to commit a crime. Most of us
are very much aware of the behaviours which, by law, constitute crime.
Rarely, however, do we stop to consider why certain activities and
behaviours are deemed criminal and others are not.
What Is A Crime? examines how we define criminal conduct in
contemporary society, and how we respond to it once it has been
Drawing from diverse scholarly traditions, including law, sociology,
criminology and socio-legal studies, this rich collection of essays
looks at the processes of defining crime and considers the varied and
complex implications of our decisions to criminalize certain unwanted
behaviour. From the perspective of various case studies, the
contributors reflect on the social processes that inform definitions of
crime, criminal law, and its enforcement, while illuminating the
subjective nature of crime and questioning the role of law in dealing
with complex social issues.
What Is A Crime? will be of interest to a broad spectrum of
readers with an interest in the governance of crime and its control in
contemporary society. Students and scholars of law, sociology,
political science, philosophy, and criminology will find this book
invaluable in furthering their understanding of the processes of
defining and responding to crime and criminal behaviour. It will also
hold sway with policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, and anyone
with a stake in our current approaches to crime.
The Law Commission of Canada is an independent federal law reform agency that advises Parliament on how to improve and modernize Canada's laws.
Introduction / Nathalie Des Rosiers and Steven Bittle 1. What is a Crime? A Secular Answer / Jean-Paul Brodeur, with Genevieve Ouellet 2. Undocumented Migrants and Bill C-11: The Criminalization of Race / Wendy Chan 3. Crime, Copyright, and the Digital Age / Steven Penney 4. Criminalization in Private: The Case of Insurance Fraud / Richard V. Ericson and Aaron Doyle 5. From Practical Joker to Offender: Reflections on the Concept of "Crime" / Pierre Rainville 6. Poisoned Water, Environmental Regulation, and Crime: Constituting the Non-Culpable Subject in Walkerton, Ontario / Laureen Snider Contributors Index