The Perils of Non-Adversarialism: Commentary on Freiberg
European Journal of Criminology 8(1): 108-112, 2011
5 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2011
Penological scholarship is evermore focused upon the vexing issue of rising punitiveness in criminal justice systems across the world. Freiberg’s work on penal reform constitutes a valuable addition to the debate about how to arrest this negative trend. The aim of this brief commentary is to problematise some of the presumptions which animate his proposed model. The argument outlined is that ‘non- or post-adversarialism’ does not axiomatically transcend punitive theories, structures, and practices. This is not merely a matter of flawed design or implementation of programmes, nor does it pertain simply to the punitive features inherent to non-adversarial philosophy as such, but, ultimately, concerns the potential role of humanistic discourses in camouflaging and thereby perpetuating punitiveness.
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