Walking in the Dark: Lack in the Use of Criminal Statistics for Public Policy and Legislative Actions
As an exercise of sovereign power, the lawmaker adopts public policies to achieve certain ends. However, public policies need justifications. One such public policy is criminalisation of conduct whereby the lawmaker may have to use both doctrinal and empirical justifications. Such empirical justification is criminal statistics. All the three organs – the police, the prosecution office and the court – are required by law to collect and keep criminal statistics. Statistical data may not be available for initial adoption of legislation; yet they are essential inputs during the revision process. Even though criminal statistics do not define the outcome of the decision of the lawmaker, one would expect that they would be used as one major input for the continuous evaluation of such law. This article examines the use of criminal statistics in the adoption/revision of criminal provisions and finds that no criminal statistics is presented in the legislative process. This appears to be for two reasons. First, the various bills were drawn up and presented by agencies claiming to have specialisation on the subject; often, such agencies do not possess criminal statistics. Second, even for those bills drawn up by agencies with potential criminal statistics, the lawmaking process is skewed, that it does not demand aspiration to make ‘good’ laws.
Criminal statistics · Criminalisation · Legislative reform · Legislative rationality
a) Copyright of the content of the articles shall be retained by the author subject to the condition that it cannot be republished in another journal. The reproduction of the article as book chapter requires the acknowledgement of its prior publication in Mizan Law Review.
b) An author is entitled to deposit her/his published article in any Open Access repository subject to the condition that the format and layout shall not be changed. Depositing a post-publication version in any repository requires acknowledgement of the earlier version by indicating the Volume, Issue and page numbers of the version published in Mizan Law Review.
c) Articles published in Mizan Law Review are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
a) Where the Editorial Team deems it necessary, the editors may remove precise reference to names of individuals in case comments.
b) The names and email addresses submitted to and published in Mizan Law Review shall not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
Opinions expressed in articles, comments, case comments and sharing thoughts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Team, or the publisher of the journal, i.e., Center for Law in Sustainable Development, St. Mary’s University.