Strand: Law and Order

The law is supposed to protect us, but there are always controversies about its legitimate remit and scope. In both America and Britain, tensions between politicians and the judiciary sharply focus our minds on who should have the power to make and interpret law. Should the law empower or constrain elected leaders, for example? And what happens when the legal process goes wrong and convicts the innocent or when the scope of the law ends up criminalising ever greater numbers? Are we too keen to lock people up for a greater array of behaviours dubbed criminal? If prisons continue to be over-crowded, do they work or are we even sure what their aim should be?