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date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers what it means for citizens to trust the police and criminal courts. First, a broad definition of trust is outlined. Four theories of trust formation and reproduction are then used to derive a set of propositions concerning the sources of trust in the legal system and the factors that sustain and/or undermine it. A brief review of existing criminological research that provides evidence on the relevance of these factors is also provided. The article closes with a discussion of the relationship between the concepts of trust and legitimacy in the context of the criminal justice system.

Keywords: police, courts, criminal justice system, trust, legitimacy

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