Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-7c2ld Total loading time: 0.278 Render date: 2021-12-01T04:50:40.136Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

12 - Preventive Detention's Slippery Slope

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2016

Hallie Ludsin
Affiliation:
Research Director, South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, New Delhi
Get access

Summary

Over the last several decades, liberal democracies have begun to adopt preventive detention as an ordinary law enforcement measure. In the past, they confined preventive detention to the extraordinary circumstances in which the criminal justice system simply could not act – such as during a war or insurrection or for the mentally ill and dangerous when neither deterrence nor prosecution is feasible. Since the rise of the risk society, these liberal democracies have begun erasing the principled distinctions that kept preventive detention as an extraordinary measure. India serves as the cautionary tale of what happens when risk aversion is allowed to drive preventive detention policy. While no liberal democracy is likely to wholly replicate India's permissiveness, which includes a constitutional right to preventive detention, it provides one important lesson – above all others – that once a government adopts preventive detention as an ordinary measure, no matter how bad the consequences, it is almost impossible to let it go.

Using the information from parts II and III of this book, this chapter compares India, England and the US to highlight that liberal democracies need to take seriously the slippery slope arguments that preventive detention proponents too easily dismiss. The comparison demonstrates that India's descent down preventive detention's slippery slope is not an aberration for a true democracy but the same path that the US and England are currently cutting. The chapter begins by showing the necessity of redefining the slippery slope based on the real experiences of these three countries. While the risk of authoritarianism is ever present when detention is substituted for prosecution, the bottom of the slippery slope in a true democracy is the ordinary and regular use of detention as a law enforcement tool.

The chapter then examines the rise of the risk society in each country that is leading them to use preventive detention as an ordinary law enforcement tool. While India developed into a risk society differently than the two liberal democracies, the effect of elevating risk to a primary societal concern is no different. Next, this chapter examines the current justifications for preventive detention to mark the stark difference between the traditional requirements for a state of exception and how it is used now. It then compares the choice of the deviant other treated as deserving of preventive detention in each society.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×