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Robson Hall Associate Professor Richard Jochelson has co-authored a new book titled Criminal Law and Precrime

June 27, 2017 — 

Criminal Law and Precrime: Legal Studies in Canadian Punishment and Surveillance in Anticipation of Criminal Guilt is available for pre-order!

By Richard Jochelson, James Gacek, Lauren Menzie, Kirsten Kramar, Mark Doerksen

Synopsis:

“In Philip K. Dick’s short story Minority Report, the institution of Precrime punishes people with imprisonment for crimes they would have committed had they not been prevented. With Dick’s allegorical inspiration, the authors of Criminal Law and Precrime: Legal Studies in Canadian Punishment and Surveillance in Anticipation of Criminal Guilt posit that recent developments in Canadian law indicate a trend toward imposing punitive measures at increasingly earlier stages of the prosecutorial process. The result is a potentially new field of criminal management that could be characterized as “precrime”—particularly the use of the law as a technology of surveillance and prevention since “terror” became a justification for intervention.

The authors note that as risk management logics (based in actuarial sciences) have shifted to precautionary ones (based in administrative sciences), the law has responded by developing techniques in the arena of criminal regulation in light of the “war on terror”: the need to ensure security, the proliferation of digital data, and the development of drones, social networking, and cloud storage to gather personal data. The authors view shifts in criminal investigation; the substantive criminal law of sexual expression, conduct, and work; and civil forfeiture as emblematic of precrime populism. The unifying theme of these techniques is that they occur prior to state-identified crime, arise out of a precautionary philosophy, and seek to presume (or circumvent) criminality.

The book is a provocative read for scholars and students in criminal law, policing, and surveillance, as well as for those interested in how areas of law, such as immigration, health, and anti-terrorism, are mobilizing the logics of risk and surveillance in new ways that emphasize precaution. The authors invite legal scholars to place the analytical lens of precrime on criminal and regulatory practices in Canada as well as other Western nations across the globe.”

Biography:

Dr. Richard Jochelson is an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba and holds his PhD in law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, a Masters in Law from University of Toronto Law School, and a Law Degree from University of Calgary Law School (Gold Medal). He is a former law clerk who served his articling year at the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench, before working at one of Canada’s largest law firms. He worked for ten years teaching criminal and constitutional law at the University of Winnipeg prior to joining Robson Hall. A co-applicant on several SSHRC awards, he has published peer-reviewed articles dealing with obscenity, indecency, judicial activism, police powers, criminal justice pedagogy and curriculum development, empiricism in criminal law, and conceptions of judicial and jury reasoning. He is a member of the Bar of Manitoba and has co-authored and coedited several books. He has most recently co-authored The Disappearance of Criminal Law: Police Powers and the Supreme Court (Fernwood, 2015).

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