Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment?

Benefit Sanctions in the UK

  • Michael Adler

Part of the Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Michael Adler
    Pages 1-7
  3. Michael Adler
    Pages 129-136
  4. Michael Adler
    Pages 149-151
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 153-171

About this book


The book subjects the largely hidden phenomenon of benefit sanctions in the UK to sustained examination and critique. It comprises twelve chapters dealing with the terms ‘cruel’, ‘inhuman’ and ‘degrading’ that are used as a benchmark for assessing benefit sanctions; benefit sanctions as a matter of public concern; the historical development of benefit sanctions in the UK; changes in the scope and severity of benefit sanctions; conditionality and the changing relationship between the citizen and the state; the impact and effectiveness of benefit sanctions; benefit sanctions and administrative justice; the role of law in protecting the right to a social minimum; a comparison of benefit sanctions with court fines; benefit sanctions and the rule of law; and what, if anything, can be done about benefit sanctions. Each chapter ends with a paragraph that attempts to highlight the most salient points in that chapter, and the book ends with a short conclusion in which benefit sanctions are assessed against the chosen benchmark.


social security benefits welfare welfare state socio-legal social rights austerity human rights punishment courts

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information