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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

(p.29) 2 Organizing Ideas
Law as Last Resort

Keith Hawkins

Oxford University Press

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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