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Populism and Criminal Justice Policy: An Australian Case Study of Non-Punitive Responses to Alcohol-Related Violence

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • The original motivation for this article was the atypical way that the

    government, police, media and wider community responded to the

    tragic death of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross in July 2012. Kelly

    was killed as the result of a random, unprovoked and drunken ‘one

    punch’ assault. This event had all the hallmarks of the crimes that

    have often triggered a punitive knee-jerk response, reflecting the

    ‘law and order’ paradigm that Russell Hogg and David Brown so

    powerfully exposed in Rethinking Law and Order (Pluto Press,

    1998). However, at least initially, we did not see the familiar calls

    for harsher retribution, new offences or additional police powers.

    Rather, as discussed in the article, what unfolded in 2012-2013 was

    a progressive campaign centred on the need to take meaningful

    steps to prevent so-called ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’. In the article, I

    employed the work of Ernesto Laclau, Margaret Canovan and

    Russell Hogg to suggest that these events illustrated that populism

    is not an inherently punitive force, but can produce constructive,

    even progressive, outcomes. The campaign that followed Kelly’s

    death was driven by the emotions of sadness, sympathy and grief,

    but also anger, revulsion and outrage. Often at such moments a

    polarising and demonising discourse dominates, but in this

    instance, these emotions operated to unify the people against the

    common ‘enemy’ of ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • J. Quilter, 'Populism and Criminal Justice Policy: An Australian Case Study of Non-Punitive Responses to Alcohol-Related Violence' (2016) 13 (2) PacifiCrim: The Newsletter of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology 7-9.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4245&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3231

Number Of Pages


  • 2

Start Page


  • 7

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • The original motivation for this article was the atypical way that the

    government, police, media and wider community responded to the

    tragic death of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross in July 2012. Kelly

    was killed as the result of a random, unprovoked and drunken ‘one

    punch’ assault. This event had all the hallmarks of the crimes that

    have often triggered a punitive knee-jerk response, reflecting the

    ‘law and order’ paradigm that Russell Hogg and David Brown so

    powerfully exposed in Rethinking Law and Order (Pluto Press,

    1998). However, at least initially, we did not see the familiar calls

    for harsher retribution, new offences or additional police powers.

    Rather, as discussed in the article, what unfolded in 2012-2013 was

    a progressive campaign centred on the need to take meaningful

    steps to prevent so-called ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’. In the article, I

    employed the work of Ernesto Laclau, Margaret Canovan and

    Russell Hogg to suggest that these events illustrated that populism

    is not an inherently punitive force, but can produce constructive,

    even progressive, outcomes. The campaign that followed Kelly’s

    death was driven by the emotions of sadness, sympathy and grief,

    but also anger, revulsion and outrage. Often at such moments a

    polarising and demonising discourse dominates, but in this

    instance, these emotions operated to unify the people against the

    common ‘enemy’ of ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • J. Quilter, 'Populism and Criminal Justice Policy: An Australian Case Study of Non-Punitive Responses to Alcohol-Related Violence' (2016) 13 (2) PacifiCrim: The Newsletter of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology 7-9.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4245&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3231

Number Of Pages


  • 2

Start Page


  • 7

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Australia