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Craft skills and legal rules: How Australian magistrates make bail decisions


Travers, M, Craft skills and legal rules: How Australian magistrates make bail decisions, Ethnographic Studies, (16) pp. 147-166. ISSN 1366-4964 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2019 The Author Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

DOI: doi:10.5281/zenodo.3459401


This paper pursues an ethnomethodological approach in describing the work of magistrates making bail decisions in Australian lower courts. Because researchers are committed to examining the practical nature of occupational work, this approach has potential to provide a detailed account of rule-use in legal settings. It will be shown how magistrates employ and are permitted to employ considerable discretion when working within bail legislation, and in interpreting legislation. This account of legal work is relevant to long-standing debates about rule skepticism and formalism; and to policy debates that seek to limit judicial discretion.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bail, courts, ethnography
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Courts and sentencing
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Criminal justice
UTAS Author:Travers, M (Associate Professor Max Travers)
ID Code:135479
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2019-10-24
Last Modified:2019-11-14
Downloads:28 View Download Statistics

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