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Criminal Justice on the Spot: Infringement Penalties in Victoria

NCJ Number
Richard G. Fox
Date Published
345 pages
This book examines legal and criminological aspects of on-the-spot fines in Victoria, Australia, and the surveillance techniques upon which those measures largely depend.
The use of "on-the-spot" fines (more properly called "infringement notices") as a device for diverting offenders from court has been expanding into other areas. Issuing of infringement notices has become the most frequently used punitive measure in the Australian criminal justice system. Growing use of this measure has produced a vision of an automated and depersonalized criminal justice system in a surveillance society that many may find disturbing. The legal model upon which the infringement notice is based has shifted from one of expiation and non-conviction to one of conviction and supplementary forms of punishment. Levels at which fixed penalties are set have been rising, and public protests at inappropriate uses of the infringement notice system have given the area new political significance. The book considers this technique for dealing with offenders administratively, its significance for the future of criminal law as a means of social control, relevant law and practice, principle and policy, and efficiencies (or lack of them) of the system. Notes, tables, figures, cases, bibliography, index