“Law and Order“ is an artistic interpretation of Criminal Justice systems in different countries. It is a typological visual comparison, and should shed light on the different ways in which societies cope with (serious) crime, and what institutions they have created to deal with it.
The Criminal Justice System is the basic tool to maintain order and cohesion in communities, and as such, it is an element of vital importance in every society. In spite of this, it has rarely been the subject of interest from artists, visual or otherwise – possibly because of its abstractness and supposed lack of picturesque qualities.
The project concentrates on the question: how do societies cope and what institutions have they created to deal with people who have committed a (serious) crime?
The institutes involved are mainly these:
1. Police Force and Public Prosecution, responsible for solving crime and prosecuting criminals
2. Courts, responsible for judging them
3. Correctional Facilities (prisons etc.)
For this photo series, the people who represent the institutions (police officers, public prosecutors, lawyers, judges, prison guards and administrators) are at least as important, if not more, than the suspected, accused and convicted individuals.
In 2008, I finished “Bureaucratics”, a photo project on the Executive, the bureaucracy, in eight countries worldwide. (See: www.janbanning.com/gallery/bureaucratics) This inspired me to take up another branch of the Trias Politica: the Judiciary which is at least as fundamental to society as the Civil Service.
So far, I have finished chapters in Uganda (colonial heritage of the Anglo-Saxon Common Law system), Colombia (colonial heritage of the Continental Law system) and the USA. At this moment (spring 2013), I am working in France (origin of Code Napoleon and Code Penal, so of the Civil Law system). Also, I hope to include a country where the Sharia plays a big role in the criminal justice system.
The selection of the countries has been made in consultation with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany.
Password protected chapters
I apologize for not yet being able to publish the results of my work in Colombia, France and the USA: the magazine GEO (Germany + the international version) have been promised the first right of publication.