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Vol 23 No 4 April/May 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Edited by: Alexander Learmonth, Charlotte Ford, Julia Clark, John Ross Martyn
Price: £295.00

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Williams published

The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial

ISBN13: 9780199287239
ISBN: 0199287236
Published: September 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2003)
Price: £39.49
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780199258888

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The adversary system of trial, the defining feature of the Anglo-American criminal procedure developed late in English legal history. For centuries, defendants were forbidden to have counsel, and lawyers seldom appeared for the prosecution either. Trial was meant to be an occasion for the defendant to answer the charges in person.

The transformation from lawyer-free to lawyer-dominated criminal trial happened within the space of about a century, from the 1690s to the 1780s. This book explains how the lawyers captured the trial. In addition to conventional legal sources, Professor Langbein draws upon a rich vein of contemporary pamphlet accounts about trials in London's Old Bailey. The book also mines these novel sources to provide the first detailed account of the formation of the law of criminal evidence.

Responding to menacing prosecutorial initiatives (including reward-seeking thieftakers amd crown witnesses induced to testify in order to save their own necks), the judges of the 1730s decided to allow the defendant to have counsel to cross-examine accusing witnesses. By restricting counsel to the work of examining and cross-examining witnesses, the judges intended that the accused would still need to respond in person to the charges against him. Langbein shows how counsel manipulated the dynamics of adversary procedure to defeat the judges' design, ultimately silencing the accused and transforming the very purpose of the criminal trial.

Trial ceased to be an opportunity for the accused to speak, and became instead an occasion for defense counsel to test the prosecution case.

Legal History
1. The Lawyer-Free Criminal Trial
The Altercation
The Rapidity of Trial
The Rule Against Defence Counsel
The Marian Pretrial
The 'Accused Speaks' Trial
The Plight of the Accused
2. The Treason Trials Act of 1696: The Advent of Defense Counsel
The Treason Trials of the Later Stuarts
The Critque of the Trials
The Provisions of the Act
The Restriction to Treason
Of Aristocrats and Paupers: Treason's Legacy for Adversary Criminal Justice
3. The Prosecutorial Origins of Defence Counsel
Prosecution Lawyers
Prosecution Perjury
Making Forgery Felony
Evening Up: Defense Counsel Enters the Felony Trial
4. The Law of Criminal Evidence
The View From the Sessions Papers
The Character Rule
The Corroboraion Rule
The Confession Rule
Unfinished Business: The Hearsay Rule
Groping for the Lever: Excluding Evidence
5. From Altercation to Adversary Trial
Silencing the Accused
Prosecution Counsel
Defense Counsel
Judicial Acquiescence
Jury Trial
The Truth Deficit

Series: Oxford Studies in Modern Legal History

Lords of the Land: Indigenous Property Rights and the Jurisprudence of Empire ISBN 9780199568659
Published November 2011
Oxford University Press
A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law ISBN 9780199551941
Published September 2008
Oxford University Press
A History of Water Rights at Common Law ISBN 9780199207602
Published June 2006
Oxford University Press
A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law ISBN 9780198260769
Published December 2005
Oxford University Press
The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial (eBook) ISBN 9780191024498
Published September 2005
Oxford University Press
£28.32 + £5.66 VAT
A History of Water Rights at Common Law
Joshua GetzlerFellow in Law, St Hugh's College, Oxford and Lecturer, University of Oxford
ISBN 9780198265818
Published March 2005
Oxford University Press
Frederick Pollock and the English Juristic Tradition ISBN 9780199270224
Published October 2004
Oxford University Press
The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial ISBN 9780199258888
Published June 2003
Oxford University Press
Private Property and Abuse of Rights in Victorian England ISBN 9780199256877
Published May 2003
Oxford University Press
Advocacy and the Making of the Adversarial Criminal Trial 1800-1865 ISBN 9780198262848
Published July 1999
Oxford University Press