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Dangerous PoliticsRisk, Political Vulnerability, and Penal Policy$
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Harry Annison

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728603.001.0001

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Reining In

Reining In

The Senior Judiciary, Liberal Concerns, and Precautionary Creep

(p.103) 5 Reining In
Dangerous Politics

Harry Annison

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the ways in which the senior judiciary attempted to challenge, and alter, the nature and effects of the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence. It is argued that these events demonstrate that the British senior judiciary are thoughtful participants in British politics, displaying genuine fidelity to the law but nonetheless seeking to affect the course taken by criminal justice and sentencing policy. The concept of the senior judicial tradition (SJT) is sketched, which is argued to promote ‘responsible’ behaviour, while also legitimizing judicial efforts to mitigate ‘bad law’. We see that the inherent tensions within the SJT leave the British senior judiciary ill-equipped to contest robustly, and in their eyes legitimately, particular instances of the preventive turn.

Keywords:   senior judiciary, liberalism, prevention

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