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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

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Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of Squatting: Vunerable Demons?

ISBN13: 9780415740616
Published: November 2014
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £90.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781138686076

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This collection of critical essays considers the criminalisation of squatting from a range of different theoretical, policy and practice perspectives. While the practice of squatting has long been criminalised in some jurisdictions, the last few years have witnessed the emergence of a newly constituted political concern with unlawful occupation of land.

With initiatives to address the ‘threat’ of squatting sweeping across Europe, the offence of squatting in a residential building was created in England in 2012. This development, which has attracted a large measure of media attention, has been widely regarded as a controversial policy departure, with many commentators, Parliamentarians, and professional organisations arguing that its support is premised on misunderstandings of the current law and a precarious evidence-base concerning the nature and prevalence of ‘squatting’.

Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of Squatting explores the significance of measures to criminalise squatting for squatters, owners and communities. The book also interrogates wider themes relating to political philosophy, social policy, criminal justice and the nature of ownership, considering how the assimilation of squatting to a contemporary punitive turn is shaping the political, social, legal and moral landscapes of property, housing and crime.

Property Law, Criminal Law
Introduction - Criminalising squatting: setting an agenda Lorna Fox O’Mahony, David O’Mahony and Robin Hickey

Part I. The state: critical perspectives on criminalisation in the neo-liberal state
1. The Political Economy of Trespass: Re-visiting Marxist Analysis of the Law’s Response to Squatting Neil Cobb
2. Crime as property: a restorative perspective on the criminalisation of squatting and the ‘ownership’ of unlawful occupation David O’Mahony and Lorna Fox O’Mahony
3. Criminalisation of Squatting: Scottish Lessons? Bonnie Holligan

Part II. The squatter: vulnerability, lifestyle, protest and political rhetoric
4. The Role of Rhetoric in the Criminalisation of Squatting Theodora Middleton
5. The criminalisation of squatting: discourses, moral panics and resistances in the Netherlands and England & Wales Deanna Daduscand ETC Dee
6. Criminalising the poor: squatting, homelessness, and social welfare Kesia Reeve

Part III. The land owner: protecting property and adverse possession
7. A property law critique of the criminalisation of squatting Robin Hickey
8. Adverse Possession: Relativity to Absolutism Emma Waring
9. The changing architectures of adverse possession and a political aesthetics of squatting Lucy Finchett-Maddock
10. Conclusions - Developing critical perspectives on the criminalisation of squatting Lorna Fox O’Mahony, David O’Mahony and Robin Hickey