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AN ENDURING LIBERAL INSTITUTION: HOW NEOLIBERAL VICTIM-CENTRIC REFORMS STRENGTHEN THE LIBERAL CONCEPTION OF THE LEGITIMACY OF THE CRIMINAL TRIAL

Weir, Laura Anne (2017) AN ENDURING LIBERAL INSTITUTION: HOW NEOLIBERAL VICTIM-CENTRIC REFORMS STRENGTHEN THE LIBERAL CONCEPTION OF THE LEGITIMACY OF THE CRIMINAL TRIAL. Master of Law by Research (LLMRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:63955)

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Abstract

'For too long victims have felt they are treated as an afterthought in the criminal justice system. This must change... I am absolutely determined that victims are given back their voice ...' (Damian Green MP, Minister for Victims).

Over the past two or more decades there has been a marked, accelerating turn towards the role of the victim in proceedings, both internationally and domestically. It is the contention of this thesis that the host of victim-centric reforms, preoccupied with giving the victim a voice in the English criminal trial, demonstrate "neoliberal" logics of governance according to market-metrics with increased efficiencies and engagement with users of the system, responsibilisation of the victim in the trial process, individualisation and personalisation of the proceedings and enforcing a zero-tolerance to the risks posed by criminals.

The contention of this thesis is that the neoliberal, victim-centric reforms to the English criminal trial paradoxically serve to strengthen the liberal conception of the criminal trial. Such a liberal conception traditionally champions both the participation of the defendant being called to account and due process to protect the defendant against the oppressive exercise of state power. Enhanced perceptions of procedural fairness to victims in the trial process and the expansion of the audience by opening a dialogue between the victim and those in power at points of the trial process that were previously remote to the victim, in no way diminishes the liberal conception but in fact characterises the legitimation of an enduring liberal trial institution.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Law by Research (LLMRes))
Thesis advisor: Parsley, Connal
Thesis advisor: Carr, Helen
Uncontrolled keywords: Victim-centric reforms; English criminal trial; Trial legitimacy; Neoliberal reforms; Liberal institution; role of the victim
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 14:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63955 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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