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Bar WarsContesting the Night in Contemporary British Cities$
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Phil Hadfield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297856.001.0001

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Notes from the Frontline: Licensing and the Courts

Notes from the Frontline: Licensing and the Courts

(p.215) 8 Notes from the Frontline: Licensing and the Courts
Bar Wars

Phil Hadfield

Oxford University Press

Licensing trials and their outcomes exert huge influence over the shaping of crime control strategies for the night-time economy at a local, regional, and national level. This chapter highlights the performativity of the law and of the courtroom settings that form the designated contexts for the settling of disputes between regulator and regulated, public and private sector, and corporate interests and local communities. It reveals the differential and unequal resources available to participants and how a witness's credibility may be variously bolstered or demolished through live cross examination. Courtroom battles are shown to bind regulatory adjudication — and thus the shaping of the night-time city — to a constricting and in many ways perverse adversarial frame of action in which truth or falsity becomes secondary to notions of winning and losing.

Keywords:   performativity, witness, cross-examination, alcohol, barrister, dramaturgy, Goffman

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