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Making History: Academic Criminology and Human Rights

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 53 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 568-587
Thérèse Murphy; Noel Whitty
Date Published
July 2013
20 pages
This article discusses an engagement with human rights is essential for 21st century criminology.
David Garland has written that 'an engagement with human rights is essential for 21st century criminology that aspires to depth and relevance'. But what does it mean to do human rights criminologically? Also, should it be viewed as a new phenomenon or are there histories of engagement with rights to be found within academic criminology? And what is the relationship between any such histories and the methods and goals that are influencing contemporary criminological positions on human rights? This article engages with these questions, though it will not answer them. Its goal is a preliminary one: to explain why academic criminology ought to enquire into its own history with human rights. Given the range of engagements with, and repudiations of, rights discourse over time, that history is likely to be complex. But understanding it, the authors suggest, is important for criminology going forward. (Published Abstract)