Ethics@Noon: Lucia Zedner

Ethics at Noon

Policing Civility in Public Space: Civil Orders and Uncivil Practices

Public policing is increasingly sidelined by the rise of publicly owned private spaces, private security and the proliferation of alternate civil and regulatory measures. This paper examines a raft of civil measures introduced in the UK to police those whose presence is deemed inimical to a contrived idea of public civility. One particularly egregious example are Public Spaces Protection Orders, which allow officials to impose infinite restrictions and exclusions upon those whose conduct has, or might in future have, a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’. The paper considers their implications for justice, for those ‘uncivil’ citizens subjected to their prohibitions, and for participation in public life. It suggests that such disciplinary measures erode the very safeguards by which citizens are – or should be – protected against the unwarranted exercise of state coercive power. Targeting the poor, the homeless, the young, and marginalized, orders that seek to manufacture the appearance of civility arguably do little more than cosmetically conceal the underlying injustices of modern urban life.

Lucia Zedner
Faculty of Law & All Souls College
Oxford University

Eventbrite - Lucia Zedner: Policing Civility in Public Space: Civil Orders and Uncivil Practices

Wed, Oct 18, 2017
12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
Rm 200, Larkin Building