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NCJ Number: 68094 Find in a Library
Title: VICTIMOLOGY, CRIMINAL LAW AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Journal: SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL LAW  Volume:1  Dated:(1977)  Pages:31-50
Author(s): L S SHELEFF
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: VICTIMOLOGY IS ASSERTED TO BE A CHALLENGE TO CRIMINAL LAW ON THE SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE OF THE DEFINITION OF CRIME, THE PROCEDURAL ISSUE OF HEARING EVIDENCE AND PROVING GUILT, AND THE PENOLOGICAL ISSUE OF DISPOSING OF THE CASE.
Abstract: FOR EXAMPLE, RECENT RESEARCH INDICATES THAT THE LEGAL CRITERIA FOR JUSTIFYING REACTIONS TO PROVOCATIVE BEHAVIOR ARE NOT RELATED TO THE ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE OF PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WORK. IN ADDITION, VICTIM COMPENSATION HAS BEEN LARGELY SOUGHT OUTSIDE THE FRAMEWORK OF CRIMINAL LAW. THE FUTURE OF CRIMINAL LAW IS CHALLENGED BECAUSE THE LAW IS ELUSIVE AND BECAUSE THE CRITERIA FOR DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW ARE NOT SATISFACTORY. CRIMINAL LAW NEEDS TO BE EXPANDED INTO NEW AREAS IN ORDER TO COPE WITH EMERGING SOCIAL PROBLEMS SUCH AS ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, POPULATION CONTROLS, AND CONSUMER INFRACTIONS. DISPUTING THE THEORY OF EDWIN M. SCHUR THAT THE STATE SHOULD NOT INTERVENE IN 'CRIMES WITHOUT VICTIMS,' THE ESSAY ASSESSES CRIMINAL LAW ON SUCH MATTERS AS PORNOGRAPHY, DRUGS, AND HOMOSEXUALITY, WHICH ARE NOT RELEVANT CRIMES IN TERMS OF CRIMINAL LAW. THE VICTIM'S INTERESTS SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT IN ADJUDICATION. RECONCILIATION MUST BE MADE FOR THE VICTIM AND THE FOCUS OF LAW SHOULD BE ON THE INJURED PARTY RATHER THAN ON SOCIETY. PLEA BARGAINING SHOULD BE ADAPTED SINCE THE BARGAINING PROCESS IS A READY-MADE FRAMEWORK FOR INCORPORATING THE VICTIM IN THE PROCESS. IT IS ASSERTED THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO CONCEIVE OF A PROCESS OF LAW AIMED AT THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN WRONGDOER AND VICTIM, WHEREBY THE REHABILITATION OF THE WRONGDOER MAY BE BEST GUARANTEED THROUGH ENFORCING RESTITUTION TO THE VICTIM. THE ESSAY AFFIRMS THE NEED FOR SOCIETY TO ABANDON MANY CURRENT AND TRADITIONAL IDEAS ABOUT THE CRIMINAL LAW AND CONCLUDES THAT IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO MOVE TOWARD A SIMILAR CONCEPT OF THE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS OF POLICE, PROSECUTOR, DEFENSE LAWYER AND JUDGE AS ARBITRATORS BETWEEN WRONGDOER AND VICTIM AND TO A CONCEPT OF THE TRIAL, NOT AS AN ARENA FOR PURE CONFLICT, BUT AS A FRAMEWORK FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION. REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Victim compensation; Victimology
Note: THIS PAPER WAS READ AT THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VICTIMOLOGY, BOSTON (MA), SEPTEMBER 1976.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68094

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