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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


SOUZA, Lídio de et al. Human rights and the representation of justice. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1998, vol.11, n.3, pp.497-510. ISSN 0102-7972.

The aim of the present paper was to identify the elements that constitute the social representations of university students concerning various aspects of the application of justice. A scale of 50 statements about such aspects was employed with three groups: formed by Samples of freshmen and senior Law students participated in groups 1 and 2 , respectivelly. The third group was formed by freshmen from other courses at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil. The results revealed liberal representations towards Punishment, Offender, and Law, and ambivalent representations to Crime. Justice elicited liberal representations by groups 1 and 2, whereas group 3 showed more ambivalence. The idea that rights must be fully guaranteed, together with the rejection of parallel forms of justice, seems to indicate important qualitative changes in the mindset of future judicial administrators, contributing to the construction of judicial practices with greater social meaning.

Keywords : Crime; criminal; punishment; human rights; representation of justice.

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