In this chapter we discuss some of the problems associated with developing forms of ethical oversight in the field of criminology and criminal justice. We argue that the core concerns of institutional ethics committees are inextricably bound up with the logic of the market. The ongoing marketisation of the university is, quite clearly, affecting the production of knowledge, and institutional ethics committees now possess an unstated and unacknowledged desire to defend the institution from litigation and reputational damage. This desire now exhorts a subtle but powerful influence upon the deliberations of institutional ethics committees. Using our own research backgrounds and engagement with institutional ethics committees as a foundation for our critique, we argue that ethnography and in situ social research must be protected from those forces that would seek to formalise, sanitise and control it.