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Conference Paper


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5.5 LAW, Criminology

Publication Details

A paper delivered at the Burren Law School, 2014.


At the heart of my talk is the concept of accountability, along with the importance of fairness and transparency in decisions taken in places which are very far from public view. The rule of law is ever more important in situations where the power relationship is tipped in the favour of the State, as in prisons. Speaking pragmatically, the fairness and legitimacy of decision-making in prisons is an important element in maintaining order and decent relationships between staff and prisoners, so essential in ensuring security. This practical reason for the application of the rule of law in prisons has been recognised by reports into disturbances in prison, such as the Woolf Report in to the Strangeways riots.



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