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The Rule of Law and the Challenges to Jurisprudence

Selected Papers Presented at the Fourth Central and Eastern European Forum for Legal, Political and Social Theorists, Celje, 23–24 March 2012

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Edited By Péter Cserne, Miklós Könczöl and Marta Soniewicka

Over the last two decades scholars and citizens in Central and Eastern Europe had more than enough opportunity to realise that neither democracy nor the rule of law can be taken for granted. Such a realisation also means that if they want to think and speak clearly about or take a stand for their political and legal ideals, they need to reflect on them constantly, and conceptualise them in novel ways, by questioning entrenched lines of argument and problematising established patterns of thought. The contributors of this volume discuss a wide range of subjects from jurisprudential methodology and legal reasoning through democracy and constitutional courts to rights and criminal justice, raising questions and suggesting new ideas on «The Rule of Law and the Challenges to Jurisprudence» in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
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Shielding Criminal Justice from Politics

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Mojca M. Plesničar

Introduction

The ‘(re-)insulation’ of criminal justice policy-making is a proposition that has been suggested by several criminologists and other commentators of recent developments in the field of criminal justice (Pettit 2002; Zimring and Johnson 2006; Lacey 2007; Sherman 2009). The common underlying assumption of such suggestions is an explicit denouncement of the status quo, in which the field seems to have been taken to intolerable levels of politicisation, in turn producing overly punitive policies and practices. While the advocates of the return to a state where crime is insulated from the openly public and political debate seem to believe that this is a feasible and indispensable measure, the considerations to be made in determining the final answer are many.

In this paper, I will first briefly outline the reasoning of different proponents of insulation in criminal justice policy-making and their arguments for such an approach. I will then consider whether the solutions they put forward bring about desirable outcomes for modern societies and examine some potential drawbacks. I will finish the discussion with some general remarks on what (re)insulation would mean and whether it is at this time a desirable and possible aim.

Direct public involvement as a generator of punitiveness

The proponents of the ‘insulation model’ (Loader 2009, 6) together with many others involved with criminal justice seem to agree that current trends in criminal justice are illiberal, unwise and detrimental...

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