People’s encounters with the criminal justice system can powerfully shape both their sense of self and their sense of belonging. In this paper we focus on the effect experiences of policing may have on people’s identities. A representative panel survey of Australians provides the most convincing evidence yet that social identity (here, identifying oneself as a ‘law-abiding Australian’) is an important mechanism linking procedural justice to police legitimacy. When people feel fairly treated, their sense of identification with the group the police represent seems to be enhanced, strengthening police legitimacy as a result; but unfair treatment, which indicates to people that they do not belong, may undermine such identification and damage police legitimacy.'Autonomy, Identity and Self-knowledge: A New 'Solution' to the Liberal-Communitarian 'Problem'?' (Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 14/02) by Jacqueline Mowbray argues that
The liberal-communitarian debate was a feature of the philosophy of human rights in the 80s and 90s. This paper argues that recent discussions about the benefits and dangers of protecting identity, and whether the purpose of human rights is to protect autonomy or identity, can be seen as a continuation of this debate in another form. In light of this insight, I consider whether this recent work offers new ways of exploring the liberal-communitarian issue. In particular, I argue that recent literature seeking to overcome the distinction between autonomy- and identity-based accounts of human rights, by foregrounding the concept of self-knowledge as critical to both accounts of human rights, may open up possibilities for bridging the divide between the liberal and communitarian views. Ultimately, I conclude that this approach is limited, in that it is based on understandings of self-knowledge and identity which are inherently problematic. However, building on this approach, I tentatively suggest an alternative methodology for bridging the gap between autonomy- and identity-based accounts of human rights, based on the idea that self-knowledge and self-creation are inextricably connected as part of the one process.