Starting in May '68 and continuing throughout the 1970s, militant movements (feminist, gay, immigrant, radical left-wing and prisoners’ movements, etc.) caused a new critical practice to emerge with respect to the law and penal institutions.
The fifteen years that followed were marked by the politicisation of penal issues and by the splintering of activist positions on the question: should capitalist bosses be sent to prison? Should one fight against repression or go to court for the damages suffered? Should criminal law be challenged or more strictly applied? Should sanctions be strengthened against racist, sexist, sexual, homophobic, etc. hate crimes in order to recognise the seriousness of prejudice?
Jean Bérard offers us the untold story of the relationships between protest movements and the law, shining a light on their essential contribution to the development of criminal law and our contemporary penal system.