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NCJ Number: 220308 Find in a Library
Title: Judiciary as a Primary Definer on Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
Journal: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:46  Issue:4  Dated:September 2007  Pages:417-430
Author(s): Jane Donoghue
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the role of the judiciary in helping to define behaviors that should and should not be the target of antisocial behavior orders (ASBOs) in the United Kingdom.
Abstract: ASBOs have been authorized in the United Kingdom as a mechanism for dealing with nuisance behaviors that do not rise to the level of a crime as defined in the criminal code. Since the orders became available in April 1999, the use of ASBOs in countering all forms of obtrusive and potentially offensive behavior has been increasing annually. The volume of ASBOs across the country has been attributed to the enthusiasm of local authorities for this new means of countering nuisance behavior, particularly in social housing areas. Some critics have suggested that ASBOs have become local authorities' means of social control of marginalized groups. Courts have facilitated the increase in the use of ASBOs by endorsing their use for a much broader spectrum of behavior than was originally intended. Statutory guidance on the use of ASBOs states that an authority does not have to prove the defendant's intention to cause alarm or distress, which removes the requirement of criminal intent. Since an ASBO is classified as a civil order to desist from a specified behavior, it involves a lesser standard of legal protection than for criminal defendants. Still, sanctions of violating the order carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, which exceeds the penalty for many crimes. This article argues that the judiciary plays a critical role in setting the limits of ASBO use and ensuring that civil rights are protected in formal social control operations by law enforcement officers. 8 notes and 28 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Civil remedies; Discretionary decisions; Disorderly conduct; Foreign laws; Judicial discretion; Nuisance abatement programs; Public nuisance; Public order offenses
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