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Legitimacy and Criminal JusticeAn International Exploration$
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Justice Tankebe and Alison Liebling

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701996.001.0001

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Legitimacy, Crimes, And Compliance In ‘The City’: De Maximis Non Curat Lex?

Legitimacy, Crimes, And Compliance In ‘The City’: De Maximis Non Curat Lex?

(p.157) 8 Legitimacy, Crimes, And Compliance In ‘The City’: De Maximis Non Curat Lex?
Legitimacy and Criminal Justice

Michael Levi

Oxford University Press

Legitimacy has the enormous advantage that its opposite, illegitimacy (like ‘uncritical criminology’) is on the face of it plainly undesirable. The assertion that legitimacy is obtained to a large measure by procedural justice is an important empirical claim, and has generated much fruitful research and policy benefits, because it shifts thinking in the direction of how the policed communities see what is happening to them. This chapter poses some questions for the application of the concept of legitimacy to white-collar crimes by corporate and financial services elites and offer some limited empirical data from different country to illuminate the problems to which it gives rise. Among these are the difficulties of translating abstract legitimacy needs into enforcement and prosecution activities, via relatively autonomous agencies (as in the UK) or politically controlled bodies that will not act against corrupt elites (as in Russia or kleptocratic oligarchies in some ‘developing countries’).

Keywords:   legitimacy, corporate crime, globalization

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