Statutory Nuisance and ‘Hybrid Orders’: ‘True Crime’ Stories?

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Publication details

JournalStatute Law Review
DatePublished - Oct 2012
Issue number3
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)390-408
Original languageEnglish


Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have been the subject of fierce criticism since before their introduction. Many of the concerns focus upon the structure of the regime, whereby behaviour is criminalised through a process including the service of a ‘notice’, generally as part of a ‘civil’ procedure. This ‘hybrid’ structure is found in other legislative schemes, many of which have faced similar criticisms. The origins of the ‘Hybrid Order’ structure may be found in a much older legislative scheme - Statutory Nuisance - which has not been the subject of the same academic or political analysis. Yet many of the arguments as to the illegitimacy of the ASBO regime may be made with equal force in the case of Statutory Nuisance, and some seem to resonate even more strongly in that context. The main reason for this may be the limited criminal penalties which may result from prosecutions under Statutory Nuisance scheme. There appear to other important factors, however, which help to explain its longevity and seeming immunity from the assaults on Hybrid Orders. Together, these might be grouped within five themes: ‘Penalty’, ‘Participation’, ‘Pedigree’, ‘Pragmatism’, and ‘Property’.

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