A festschrift in honour of Anthony N. Doob/Numero special en l'honneur de Anthony N. Doob.

Author:Sprott, Jane B.
 
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This issue of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice marks the scholarly contributions of Anthony N. Doob, one of the most prolific criminologists in Canada. One cannot read about criminological issues within Canada without discovering some of his scholarship. His research is as impressive in breadth as it is in depth. Not surprisingly, he is consistently one of the top three most-cited scholars within Canada, but his scholarship extends beyond Canada: He has consistently been one of the top 25 most-cited scholars in international journals since the 1980s (Cohn 2011).

Tony's influence on Canadian criminology, generally, and the formulation of criminal-justice-related policies, more specifically, extends back to the early 1970s. At that time, the Law Reform Commission of Canada was engaged in an extensive study of the law of evidence. There was interest, at the time, in making statutory changes to the rules governing the admissibility of evidence in criminal and civil proceedings. Tony was asked by the commission to conduct social science research to inform the validity of the then current approaches and to provide an evidentiary basis for formulating proposals to reform the existing law. Evidence-based legal policy research of this kind was almost unheard of in Canada at that time. Not only was his research pioneering and innovative; it opened a window to the potential use of such empirically based research in public policy formation. It was the first of many such contributions.

Tony went on to become the (longest serving) Director of the Centre of Criminology (University of Toronto), and in 1983, he was appointed a Commissioner of the Canadian Sentencing Commission. In this capacity, he served as the link between the commission and the academic research community, ensuring that attention was paid to the large body of empirical work relevant to the commission's mandate. As a consequence, the commission developed an evidence-based sentencing policy, and its report is still the only thorough empirical investigation of sentencing in Canada (Canadian Sentencing Commission 1987). It has been, and will continue to be, the reference point for all subsequent discussions of sentencing in this country.

While this would be a remarkable career in and of itself, it was but the beginning. While he may be most known for his research on, and influence on, youth justice policy in Canada, he has, in fact, written on most aspects of the criminal justice system, including policing, bail, plea-bargaining, court delay, sentencing and sentencing guidelines, the use of...

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