Societies Special Issue “Access to Justice: Historical Approaches to Victims of Crime” – call for papers

10 October 2018

Call for papers for a special issue of the journal Societies on ‘Access to Justice: Historical Approaches to Victims of Crime’.

Edited by Prof.essorPam Cox (University of Essex) and Professor Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool), this issue aims to address issues of victims’ access to justice, cultural representations of victims, and the role of victims in the politics and practice of criminal justice – all in historical perspective.

Victims were central to the detection and prosecution of crime for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Indeed, if it was not for the substantial activity of victims there would be little recorded crime at all before the 1830s. In many countries, newly formed police forces then took the lead in the prosecution process until their role was, in turn, supplanted by professional lawyers and state prosecution services. Despite their ‘removal’ from the courtroom, victims have remained important agents in the justice system. Today they are frequently evoked and re-imagined within media and political debates, becoming symbolic ciphers for concerns about crime and other perceived social challenges. This collection seeks contributors who will address one of three major research questions:

How has victims’ access to justice been facilitated or restricted over the past two centuries? How, and to what end, have cultural representations shaped perceptions of victims? How, why and when did victims come to shape political and criminal justice discourse and practice? Additionally, the related topics may include: Child sexual abuse victims; domestic violence victims; access to justice for victims; history of victim support; symbolic and ideal victims of crime; victims and fear of crime; victims and media representations; and victims in literature.

Full details are available here:

Submissions are due to the journal by 28 February 2019.