Prosecuting Domestic Abuse In Neoliberal Times - Porter Antonia | Libro Palgrave Macmillan 11/2020 -

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Prosecuting Domestic Abuse in Neoliberal Times Amplifying the Survivor's Voice

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Lingua: Inglese
Pubblicazione: 11/2020
Edizione: 1st ed. 2020


This book argues that past inattentive treatment by state criminal justice agencies in relation to domestic abuse is now being self-consciously reversed by neoliberal governing agendas intent on denouncing crime and holding offenders to account. Criminal prosecutions are key to the UK government’s strategy to end Violence Against Women and Girls. Crown Prosecution Service policy affirms that domestic abuse offences are ‘particularly serious’ and prosecutors are reminded that it will be rare that the ‘public interest’ will not require of such offences through the criminal courts. Seeking to unpick some of the discourses and perspectives that may have contributed to the current prosecutorial commitment, the book considers its emergence within the context of the women’s movement, feminist scholarship and an era of neoliberalism. Three empirical chapters explore the prosecution commitment on the one hand, and the impact on women’s lives on the other. The book’s final substantive chapter offers a distinctive normative conceptual framework through which practitioners may think about women who have experienced domestic abuse that will have both intellectual appeal and practical application.


1. Motivations and Objectives
2. Prosecuting Domestic Abuse at the CPS
3. Prosecutorial Discretion in Domestic Abuse Cases: Three Approaches
(i) ‘Automatic Drop’: Discontinuing Cases on Victim Request
(ii) ‘No-Drop’ Prosecution: Refusal to Discontinue Cases on Request
(iii) Survivor-defined Approach: Balancing Interests
4. The Gendered Nature of Domestic Abuse: Feminist Explanations
5. Neoliberalism: The ‘Hegemonic Discourse of our Times’ 
6. Criminal versus Non-criminal Responses
7. Methodology
7(i) Socio-Legal Research
7(ii) Qualitative Research and Thematic Analysis
8. Argument Overview and Chapter Outline

Through the Lens of Feminism: State Responses to Domestic Abuse
Part One 
(i) Domestic Abuse: Key Moments in Women’s History
Part Two 
(i) The Public/ Private Divide: A Prelude to Patriarchy
(ii) Confronting the Public/ Private Divide: Patriarchy and Private Abuse
(iii) Treating Domestic Abuse as a Public Issue
(iv) Retrieving the Affirmative Potential of Privacy
Part Three
(i) The Legal Subject: The Blunt Instrument of Criminal Law: The Legal Subject Fails to Describe Abused Women’s Subjectivities
(ii) Should Feminists Turn Away from Criminal Law? Criminal Law as a site of Feminist Contestation

Neoliberalism, the CPS and Domestic Abuse Prosecutions
Part One
(i) Neoliberalism: Values, Strategies and Practices
(ii) Neoliberal Valorisation of Freedom, Individualism and Responsibilisation
(iii) Neoliberalism and Increased Criminalisation
Part Two
(i) The Political Independence of the Crown Prosecution Service?
(ii) New Public Managerialism and CPS Targets
(iii) The Victim-Centred Priority
(iv) Actuarialism and Risk-Based Discourse
Part Three
(i) Neoliberalism’s Strategic Alliance with Feminist Groups: Implications for State Treatment of Domestic Abuse 

Managerialism and Crown Prosecution Service Domestic Abuse Working Practice
Part One – Tracing CPS Approaches to Domestic Abuse
(i) Working Practice Prior to 2008: Automatic Drop
(ii) Working Practice in 2008- 9: Summons and Convict
(iii) Working Practice in 2017: Ingrained Habits and Routine Reliance on Summons 
Part Two – New Public Managerial Techniques and Prosecutorial Decision-Making
(i) Policy Objectives: Taking Domestic Abuse ‘Seriously’
(ii) Deferring to Management
(iii) Streamlining Processes: Digitalisation
(iv) Austerity
(v) Statistical Analysis
(vi) Risk and Responsibility
The Difficulty with Victimless Prosecutions
Domestic Abuse: Not an Issue of Gender for Prosecutors

Women Survivors and Legal Consciousness: A Thematic Analysis
1. What is Legal Consciousness?
2. Women Before Law: Preferring to ‘Go It Alone’
(i) Women Before Law: The Importance of Therapeutic Jurisprudential Considerations
3. Women With Law: Law as a ‘Power Resource’
(i) The Importance of Good Communications
(ii) Experiencing the Court Process
(iii) Sentencing Outcomes: Victim Perspectives
4. Women Against Law: The Myth of the ‘Superman Police’
(i) Recognising Victimhood whilst Understanding Agency
5. Discussion

‘Thrivership’: Moving Subjectivity beyond the Victim/ Agent Dichotomy
1. Victimhood and ‘Vulnerability’
2. What does it mean to ‘Thrive’?
3. Being Trauma-Informed: Lessons for Prosecutors

Conclusion: Centring Survivors
1. Overview
2. Confronting Domestic Abuse through the Criminal Justice System: Gains and Losses 
3. The Feminist Legal Project


Antonia Porter is a Lecturer at the University of Kent, UK. She teaches Criminal Law and Evidence and Legal Ethics. Qualifying as a solicitor in 2004, she has practised as a criminal defence lawyer and as a Senior Crown Prosecutor and continues to be instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service as a trial advocate. 

Altre Informazioni



Condizione: Nuovo
Collana: Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies
Dimensioni: 235 x 155 mm Ø 565 gr
Formato: Copertina rigida
Illustration Notes:1 Illustrations, black and white
Pagine Arabe: 248
Pagine Romane: xiii

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