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Where injury or damage is feared: Peace bonds as counter-law?

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISBN: 978-1-78350-785-6, eISBN: 978-1-78350-786-3

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 1 January 2014


Guided by Ericson’s counter-law analytic, the focus of this paper is how peace bonds erode traditional criminal law principles to govern uncertainty and provide applicants with a “freedom from fear” (Ericson, 2007a). Peace bonds permit the courts to impose a recognizance on anyone likely to cause harm or “personal injury” to a complainant. This paper conducts a critical discourse analysis to answer the question: how and to what extent are peace bonds a form of counter-law? Facilitated by the erosion of traditional criminal law principles and rationalized under a precautionary logic, proving that a complainant is fearful through a peace bond can result in the expansion of the state’s capacity to criminalize and conduct surveillance.



Chase, B. (2014), "Where injury or damage is feared: Peace bonds as counter-law?", Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 63), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-42.



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