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The Judicial Branch: A Partner in the Business of Governing Security?

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Abstract

This paper concerns the role of the judiciary in the governance of security. Using the concept of governance of security as perceived by Johnston and Shearing, the question rises whether reducing a complex of governing functions and strategies, including courts and judges, to a ‘simple, generic type’ might result in a denial of their specificities. In actually describing the big picture of the governance of security, Johnston and Shearing seem to leave the question unanswered whether the ‘mentalities, procedures, structures, rules and practices’ of the respective institutions must be considered relevant factors. Because of the judiciary’s principal commitment to the Rule of Law and the democratic society it is associated with, an analysis of the role of the judiciary in governing security might give some insight in the relevance of the Rule of Law to the concept of nodal governance and the governance of security. By pointing out some partnership-practices from the judiciary, in particular with regard to judicial activities on improving consistency in sentencing, this paper explores in essence that very question: the relationship between the governance of security, nodal governance and the judiciary from the perspective of the Rule of Law.

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