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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world.  The Journal is committed to democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. Authors retain copyright and articles are licenced via Creative Commons to make published articles more readily available and useable. There are no APCs (Article Processing Charges). Authors can submit and publish at no cost.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 7 3

A Little Respect: Swearing, Police and Criminal Justice Discourse

Swearing, Police and Criminal Justice Discourse


This article interrogates a commonly articulated idea in relation to the criminalisation of offensive language: namely, that swearing at police challenges their authority and thereby deserves criminal punishment. Drawing on critical discourse analysis, the article examines representations of swearing at police officers in offensive language cases and parliamentary debates, including constructions of power, authority and order. It contributes to—but also denaturalises—conceptions about police power and authority in the context of public order policing. The article argues that criminal justice discourse plays a significant and often under-acknowledged role in naturalising the punishment of swearing at, or in the presence of, police officers.

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Pages:58 to 74
Section: Articles
3 citation(s) in Scopus
4 citation(s) in Web of Science


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