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Just Interests

Victims, Citizens and the Potential for Justice

Robyn Holder

Just Interests: Victims, Citizens and the Potential for Justice contributes to extended conversations about the idea of justice – who has it, who doesn’t and what it means in the everyday setting of criminal justice. It challenges the usual representation of people victimized by violence only as victims, and re-positions them as members of a political community. Departing from conventional approaches that see victims as a problem for law to contain, Robyn Holder draws on democratic principles of inclusion and deliberation to argue for the unique opportunity of criminal justice to enlist the capacity of citizens to rise to the demands of justice in their ordinary lives.
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Chapter 6: Exploring justice goals

Robyn Holder

Extract

The goals and narratives of male and female victims of violence are explored over three interviews as they progress through the criminal justice process in a prospective longitudinal panel. Diverse motivations and objectives for victim engagement with criminal justice unfold over time and within the process. To these, individuals give different reasons that link with objects of interest: themselves as victim; the offender; and their community of others. These ideas, objectives and reasons constitute plural grounds for the overall goal of achieving justice. Offender accountability is revealed as a motivation to seek justice, a threshold from which other justice goals become possible, and a key objective. Formal accountability facilitates composite sentence preferences. The architecture of criminal justice allows multiple objectives to be articulated in a sequence and realized in a sequence.

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