DOI link for Advocacy practices
Advocacy practices book
Drawing on interview data with lawyers and decision makers, this chapter examines lawyers’ accounts of how addiction features in their work, and why it features. Lawyers often make strategic decisions about how to manage alcohol and other drug use when it comes up in their work, the utility of framing alcohol or other drug use as ‘addiction’ and key concepts that underpin it. A central theme of this chapter is that lawyers anticipate how decision makers will think about alcohol and other drugs and ‘addiction’, and that this anticipation shapes lawyers’ strategy and practice. In this sense, anticipation works to materialise and stabilise addiction as a (certain kind of) legal object. I also introduce interview data from decision makers, contrasting their opinions on alcohol and other drugs with those of lawyers. Decision makers afford themselves less agency in enacting addiction than we might assume. Whereas lawyers enact addiction in ways they anticipate will accord with decision makers’ conceptualisations, decision makers claim to be constrained in their enactments, with their judgements contingent upon the ideas that lawyers put to them. This raises questions about the habituated nature of the strategies lawyers use, and whether those habits are ‘just’.