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Overuse in the Criminal Justice System

On Criminalization, Prosecution and Imprisonment 

Book | 1st edition 2019 | United Kingdom | Piet van Kempen, Manon Jendly

The criminal justice system encompasses the most severe instrument at the state’s disposal in times of peace. For this and many other reasons, overuse of that system is a serious matter.

It may present itself in different forms. Overuse of criminalization may mean that too much conduct is criminalized without necessity. Overuse of prosecution may present itself if too many violations of criminal offences are prosecuted, while in certain individual cases or specific categories of cases it would be more effective, fairer, more efficient or otherwise desirable to refrain from prosecution and/or to apply alternative means, such as negotiating justice or administrative fines. Finally, the criminal justice system can be overused through the application and execution of too many or too severe prison sentences.

All these forms of overuse are discussed in this volume. It contains one introductory chapter, seven thematic chapters and sixteen chapters on individual countries around the world. Themes discussed in these chapters are, among others, the principle that criminal law is and must be regarded as a so-called ultima ratio or ultimum remedium, the relevant human rights framework, worldwide statistics, and legal and practical restraints as well as possibilities to solve overuse.

Containing an extensive collection of expert knowledge, this volume intends to expose legal possibilities, good practices and the many challenges that lie ahead when attempting to prevent overuse in the criminal justice system.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781780688220 / 9781780688398
Series name International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation
Weight 1180 g
Status Available
Number of pages xxiv + 634 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date May 14, 2019
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of contents and preliminary pages
  • Part I. Introductory Synthesis and Analyses / 1ère Partie. Synthèse et Analyses Introductives
  • Criminal Justice and the Ultima Ratio Principle: Need for Limitation, Exploration and Consideration
  • La Justice Pénale et le Principe de L'Ultima Ratio: Exigence de Limitation, D'Exploration et de Réflexion
  • Part II. Themes / 2ème Partie. Thèmes
  • Overuse of the Criminal Justice System: Analytical Approach, Rules and Practices
  • The Overuse of Criminal Justice in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights
  • Overuse of Criminalization: A Philosophical and Political Approach on the Latin-American Situation
  • Overprosecution and Negotiated Justice in Europe
  • The American Experience with the Prosecutorial Overuse of Plea Bargaining
  • Overuse of Imprisonment: Statistical Analyses of Incarceration Rates Across the World
  • Minimising Prisonisation and the Harms of Custody
  • Part III. National Reports / 3ème Partie. Rapports Nationaux
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Argentina
  • Le Recours au Système de Justice Pénale en Belgique: État des Lieux et Perspectives
  • Overuse of Criminal Law in Finland
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Germany
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Greece
  • Overusing the Criminal Justice System: The Case of Ireland
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Japan
  • Tendencies of Overuse in Criminal Law Policy and Criminal Law Enforcement in the Netherlands
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in New Zealand
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Nigeria
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Poland
  • Overuse in the Russian Criminal Justice System
  • Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in Spain
  • Recourt-on de Manière Excessove au Système Pénal en Suisse?
  • Overuse of the Criminal Justice System in Taiwan
  • Overuse and Underuse of the United States Criminal Justice System in the Area of Business Crimes