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Law as Last ResortProsecution Decision-Making in a Regulatory Agency$
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Keith Hawkins

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243891

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243891.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

Organizing Ideas

Organizing Ideas

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Organizing Ideas
Source:
Law as Last Resort
Author(s):

Keith Hawkins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243891.003.0002

This chapter outlines the theoretical perspective informing the empirical analysis in the book. It covers the naturalistic character of the inquiry, the view taken of the nature of decision-making in legal systems and legal bureaucracies, and ideas about enforcement practices in regulatory systems. It criticizes positivistic approaches to decision-making, particularly those influenced by ideas of rational choice, and outlines a holistic perspective. Perspectives on the enforcement of regulation preface a theory of legal decision-making around which the book is organized. The theory is based on a conception that legal decisions can only be understood by reference to their broad environment as well as their particular context: their ‘surround’, ‘fields’, and ‘frames’. Each of these ideas is analysed.

Keywords:   legal decision-making, naturalistic inquiry, regulatory enforcement, positivistic decision-making, rational choice, holistic perspective, surround, field, frame

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