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Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice (Law, Crime, and Corrections Series, V. 1) Paperback – September 10, 2004


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Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice (Law, Crime, and Corrections Series, V. 1) + The Ethics of Star Trek + Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
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Product Details

  • Series: Law, Crime, and Corrections Series, V. 1 (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press; 1 edition (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966808029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966808025
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert H. Chaires is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Nevada-Reno. He is the author and coauthor of numerous articles on minority and civil rights issues in criminal justice.



Bradley Chilton is a professor of criminal justice at Appalachian State University. He is the author of Prisons under the Gavel: The Federal Court Takeover of Georgia Prisons.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Edited by an assistant and an associate professor of their respective Departments of Criminal Justice, Star Trek Visions of Law & Justice is a unique collection of essays that speaks both to fans of the "Star Trek" television series and to serious-minded students of the evolution of law and justice codes in a rapidly transforming modern world. An eclectic variety of learned authors draw upon ideas presented in Star Trek as a model of the future, and scrutinize the possible fallout for all-too-prevalent legal dilemmas of today and tomorrow. Essays include "The Law of the Federation", "What Color is an Android?", "Star Trek as a Pedagogical Vehicle for Teaching Law and Justice", and much more. Extensively researched in law codes as surely as episode references, Star Trek Visions is thoroughly serious in its examination of evolving human law systems and may even appear a bit dry to television fans, but applies just the right mix of popular culture to as a very effective metaphor and illustration for issues whose universality that far transcend even the most widespread TV show.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book both explores the role of law in Star Trek, and how Star Trek illuminates tensions within our own legal system. On the first point, the authors make a strong effort of outlining the rules of law in the Star Trek universe, particularly stressing how informal law and adjudication have become by the 24th century. I'm impressed at how seriously the authors treat the Star Trek universe on its own terms. By and large, they resist the temptation to declare it either "realistic" or "unrealistic."

In going the opposite direction, several of the authors highlight Star Trek episodes with poignant "morals" about the law. I went to law school and have to say I thought several of the essays were quite provocative. The "Kirk's Constitutional Enterprise" essay enters into a real debate within the judicial politics literature about the merits of judicial supremacy. A few of the later essays feel forced, but still probably informative to non-lawyers.

One gap in the book is any sustained comparison between Starfleet law and U.S. military law. Some of the authors portray law as seen in Star Trek as equivalent to law in the United Federation of Planets. However, given that the episodes take place from the point of view of Starfleet officers, it's possible that we're only seeing Starfleet law in operation. Extrapolating from that might make as much sense as trying to understand U.S. constitutional law through a courts-martial. It's a point that at least ought to have been raised.

Overall, the first few essays are the best and have become classics in the field. However, most of the book is worth reading. I can only how we see more scholarship taking a critical look at law and politics in popular literature and movies.
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