Recent years have seen developments that challenge how we think about the scale, scope and operation of the criminal law and of the conceptions of citizenship that are implicit in the doctrines and theory of criminal law. These challenge us to examine the conceptions of space and time that are fundamental to the categories and concepts of the modern criminal law. This paper analyzes different conceptions of space and time in the contemporary criminal law and how these are linked to different forms of criminalization. It then goes on to map the trajectories of development of two crimes, theft and assault, to look at how the ideas of time and space that are presupposed by existing categories of criminal law are linked to, and shaped by, social and technological change. Finally it looks at how these concepts are being challenged by contemporary social developments in practices of criminalization and theories of citizenship.
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