In the post-2001 context of economic and political conflict, this book presents a timely and detailed examination of the role of the criminal law in the protection of the existing order from political dissent and destabilization. It reviews offences such as rebellion, treason, mutiny, espionage, sedition, terrorism, riot and unlawful assembly in the UK, US, Canada and Australia from a comparative perspective and investigates leading cases in their historical and political contexts. Also examining the impact on human rights and civil liberties, this book covers a neglected area of English-derived law and will encourage debate about crimes against states and governments.
'Here is a distinctive voice amongst the chorus of commentaries about crimes against the states. This book delivers a provocative commentary which is especially welcome for its broadly comparative approach and for venturing beyond the terrorism agenda and encompassing other more established offences with evident political impact.' Clive Walker, University of Leeds, UK 'Michael Head's Crimes Against the State is a much needed historically-grounded review of state oppression. Framing the analysis in the context of upper class control of the state, Head presents statutory repression of human rights and democracy as directly linked to political power and the protection of capitalism and private property.' Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University, USA '… Crimes Against the State is a much needed book. Citizens and courts far too readily defer to governments when crimes against the state are alleged: citizens and courts are far too ready to castigate those with whom they disagree as traitors and rebels. The role in the operation of the law of sites of economic and political power is underestimated. Head's spirited and committed book is to be commended for bringing all this to our attention.' The Law and Politics Book Review