Justice, Law and Human Rights

There is no uniform adoption and application of an international set of rules upholding what is ‘right’ to protect society’s most vulnerable.

Disparities exist within and between countries; killings and enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists persist despite international scrutiny and condemnation; unsecured rights for ethnic minorities, marginalised peoples, the young and the differently-abled all illustrate that there is little room for complacency within the arenas of law and justice.

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, our publishing in this area examines how the law is responding, or failing to respond, to these issues in a global context.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Justice, law and human rights, we aim to address the following goals: 

Justice, Law and Human Rights

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Drawing on and responding to the articles in this special collection, this provocation makes the case that realising justice in education requires a focus on the processes and politics of justice-oriented reform in postcolonial, low- and middle-income counties (LMICs). In implementing reform, it is argued that it is crucial to take account of similarities and differences in context between LMICs. At the heart of reform must be a holistic, coherent and systemic approach at the level of the education system of the institution. Key priorities include reforming the curriculum, investing in educators as agents of change and developing endogenous system leadership that can drive justice-oriented reform. Here, however, it is necessary to engage with the politics of justice-oriented reform, including challenging global, neoliberal agendas, democratising the governance of education and engaging with popular struggles for social, epistemic, transitional and environmental justice.

Open access
Private Delivery in Sustainable Ownership
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Compelling and robust, this book provides an analysis of challenges in public service outsourcing and considers how to avoid failure in the future.

Crucially, it proposes a governance mechanism where outsourcing public services nurtures a less extractive corporate form that is oriented towards a productive purpose beyond maximising shareholder value, with implications well beyond public services. Under these proposals, fostering purpose-driven companies that are independently governed and use profit to pursue purpose can improve both public services and wider economic organisation.

Examining how barriers to implementing this idea within the existing EU and UK legal frameworks may be addressed, the book formulates actionable policy proposals.

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An Agenda for Social Justice
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This book aims to revitalise the link between social justice and labour law through exploring the issue of personhood and the ‘subject’ of the law.

Rodgers argues that incorporating a more ‘relational’ notion of self into labour law not only provides a fresh normative perspective through which to evaluate existing labour laws, but will also make us more able to respond to labour market ‘shocks’ and labour market change into the future, including the introduction of AI.

It is only by embedding relationality into our law that can we really respect the humanity of workers and construct a legal framework through which social justice can be achieved at work.

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Surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2019) represents an unprecedented shift in modes and asymmetries of power. Operating within and through the digital sphere, this new era of capitalism has drastic implications for our understandings of modern surveillance, corporate power, and social control. The digital, in its diffuse simultaneously online and offline form, represents the spatialisation of control within which the user and the data they produce are commodified and their identities consolidated and dissected into knowable, marketable demographics which, once reassembled, no longer represent the human being once behind them (Hammond, 2016; Brusseau, 2020). The digital represents a new frontier of harm production, as user-generated data is exploited to serve corporate interests and the normalisation of digital surveillance has given way to user apathy and technological reliance, undermining user autonomy and opportunities for resistance, while commodifying not only our identities but the entirety of the human experience. Within this context an opportunity emerges to develop a zemiology informed by the digital context that can confront the deepening harms of technologisation and consider the future of resistance. By interrogating the intersection between developments in digital technology and harm production, this article aims to acknowledge the proliferation of normalised corporate surveillance through a development in capitalism (Zuboff, 2015; 2019), and to outline opportunities for theoretical development presented by the digital context, drawing upon works within zemiology (Pemberton, 2016), surveillance studies (Murakami Wood, 2007; Murakami Wood and Ball, 2013), postphenomenology (Ihde, 1990; Verbeek, 2011; Wood, 2021; 2022), and disconnection studies (Kuntsman and Miyake, 2022), to present an invitation to both a unique theoretical orientation and an emerging field of study: digital zemiology.

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Reparations and the Crime of Unjust Enrichment

This profound book by leading socio-legal scholar Joshua Castellino offers a fresh perspective on the lingering legacies of colonization.

While decolonization liberated territories, it left the root causes of historical injustice unaddressed. Governance change did not address past wrongs and transferred injustice through political and financial architectures.

Castellino presents a five-point plan aimed at system redress through reparations that addresses the colonially induced climate crisis through equitable and sustainable means.

In highlighting the structural legacy of colonial crimes, Castellino provides insights into the complexities of contemporary societies, showing how legal frameworks could foster a fairer, more just world.

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Drawing on a methodological approach that involved visual ethnography and combined content and narrative analysis, my research aims to analyse the role that emotions play in the territorial–ontological conflict between British Columbia provincial government, Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en. Using high-quality online audiovisual material produced by the Wet’suwet’en – allowing a critical perspective throughout the article on the politics of self-representation – I was able to get into the conflict with a phenomenological approach, employing my senses to analyse body movements, tone of voice and language. Theoretically, I articulate a framework made up of Ingold’s phenomenology, Blaser’s ontological conflicts and Escobar’s studies of culture. Then, I build on the spiderweb, a metaphor developed by Ingold, to expand the scope of González-Hidalgo’s emotional political ecologies. The results show that Coastal GasLink, taking culture ‘as a symbolic structure’, proposes as a central mitigation strategy, through their environmental impact assessment, what I call ‘an ontological interruption’ of the Yintakh. Besides, I demonstrate that the processes of political inter-subjectivation sought at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre help understand the worry, frustration and stress of the Wet’suwet’en facing the world-creating practices of Coastal GasLink. On the other hand, the Healing Centre also reveals how the affections for the other-than-human and their spiderweb (Yintakh or relational world) inform Wet’suwet’en resistance. Lastly, I unveil how Coastal GasLink and the Ministry of Aboriginal Rights, through practices of inclusion and gender equality, seek to blur radical cultural differences, delegitimise the Wet’suwet’en precolonial governance system, and create affections for the Western-modern world.

Open access
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This article fills important gaps in criminology by analysing the police response to foxhunting in one English county. Despite the Hunting Act 2004 legislating against hunting with dogs, the article demonstrates how foxhunting proceeds with a ‘business as usual’ discourse. Using Vegh Weis’ (2017) under- and over-criminalisation and historical development of the criminal justice sector (CJS), the article uses foxhunting as an example of the siting of classism in ‘original criminal selectivity’ that continues to explain police practices today. The use of foxhunting is particularly pertinent given the overlap in privileged relationships not only positioned to mechanisms of criminalisation but also to the historical development of foxhunting. The article demonstrates how the under-criminalisation of foxhunting is enabling the perpetuation of violence and harms by hunts and their supporters, the latter drawing more frequently on organised violence. This violence is aimed primarily at hunt saboteurs, whose role is also examined in this article through community activism applied to an abolitionist perspective. The article concludes that the police are there to maintain hegemonic practices positioned to economic power, a relationship that is understood by the intersection of original criminal selectivity, the law and classism.

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Some of the most marginalised and exposed populations during the COVID-19 pandemic have been those incarcerated in penal institutions. In the present article we compare how Norway and Denmark handled the pandemic in their prison systems and analyse these efforts through the lens of how the authorities tried to invoke specific national cultures of social solidarity during the crisis. In both countries we find that increased isolation, inactivity, lack of information, and loss of trust and contact with the outside world aggravated the prison experience. However, in Norway a bigger effort was made, compared to Denmark, to lower the prison population, as well as to create possibilities for maintaining contact with friends and families through video-visits. We then analyse the pandemic prison policies in the context of how both governments through very specific national terminologies appealed to an alleged community spirit. We examine the role and situation of prisoners in connection with these national and cultural projects of social solidarity, and find that in several cases prisoners reacted to the restrictive pandemic regimes by displaying a censorious attitude towards prison staff and authorities much in the manner originally described by Thomas Mathiesen (1965). Prisoners, in other words, held the authorities accountable to their call for community spirit and the values of social solidarity they claimed to represent. This also raises a question concerning the degree to which Danish and Norwegian policies and practices live up to the notion of Nordic penal exceptionalism, or whether the crisis unveiled different penal values.

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