Book Review: Alternative Systems of Crime Control: National, Transnational, and International Dimensions

Published date01 June 2019
Date01 June 2019
AuthorFoivi Mouzakiti
Subject MatterBook Review
Book Review
Alternative Systems of Crime Control: National, Transnational, and International Dimensions, Ulrich Sieber, Valsamis
Mitsilegas, Christos Mylonopoulos, Emmanouil Billis and Nandor Knust (eds.) (Berlin: Dunker & Humblot,
2018), ISBN 978-3-86113-786-3, 343pp., 44
Reviewed by: Foivi Mouzakiti, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK
DOI: 10.1177/2032284419854254
At the heart of Alternative Systems of Crime Control lies what the editors eloquently describe as a
‘paradigm shift’ in crime control. This shift is manifested in criminal law’s turn from repression to
prevention, and in the multitude of alternative security regimes that sprang like mushrooms
following the realization that traditional criminal law has reached its limits in the face of the
modern criminal landscape. This volume brings together a series of eminent scholars and practi-
tioners, in order to shed light on these new mechanisms of crime control. It is divided in four parts:
Part 1 provides the reader with a conceptual framework and introduces her to the contributions to
follow; Parts 2 and 3 focus on the national and international justice systems, respectively; and Part
4 closes the volume by drawing the reader’s attention to a series of special regimes, such as anti-
terrorism measures. The reader will soon discove r that, although the topics dealt with in this
collection fit comfortably under the umbrella of alternative crime control, they nonetheless vary
significantly. This variety should not be read as a sign that the collection is incoherent. There is a
common thread that runs through this book, and that is the issue of whether these mechanisms
adequately respect the rule of law, human rights and due process. With that in mind, let us take a
closer look at the individual contributions.
In the first contribution, which makes up the entirety of Part 1, Sieber takes us on a tour de force
of the new crime control regimes employed in today’s ‘global risk society’. His contribution brings
us a step closer to understanding just how numerous – and diverse – these mechanisms are. From
preventive criminal law (which extends criminal liability to preparatory acts) to legal regimes that
rest entirely outside the realm of criminal law (such as administrative sanctions, United Nations
(UN) targeted sanctions, non-conviction-based civ il confiscation, the surveillance of financial
transactions and travel movements), one gets a taste for just some of today’s alternative systems
of crime control. And while this smorgasbord of security measures significantly increases the
crime-fighting tools that states have at their disposal, the author neatly points out that there is
another side to the coin: the drastic loss of civil liberties.
Turning to Part 2, Billis and Knust focus our attention on the national level and, in particular,
alternative conflict resolution procedures in criminal law – such as discretionary prosecutions and
plea bargaining. In the penetrating analysis that follows, they scrutinize those procedures through
the lens of social legitimacy and remind us that ‘judicial mechanisms that are open and fair ( ...)
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2019, Vol. 10(2) 200–202
ªThe Author(s) 2019
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