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In: Critical Victimology: International Perspectives

Chapter 3: The Place of the Victim in Non-Western Societies

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The Place of the Victim in Non-Western Societies
The place of the victim in non-Western societies

Alongside the cliché that the victim is ignored within modern criminal justice systems sits another: that in some far-gone primitive utopia the interests of the victim reigned supreme. Various authors, in accepting that the victim has become ‘the Cinderella of the criminal law’ (Schafer, 1960: 8) have looked elsewhere – in the past or in present-day Third World societies – for examples of Cinderella enthroned as of right at the centre of the criminal justice stage. Thus Christie (1977) in a seminal article in which he criticized the ‘theft’ of conflict by complex organizational structures, approvingly described the courtroom processes of ‘modern’ Tanzania, where ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ held centre stage, ...

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