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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Thieves in Court: The Making of the German Legal System in the Nineteenth Century

ISBN13: 9781107046771
Published: November 2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £74.99

Despatched in 6 to 8 days.

From the seemingly insignificant theft of some bread and a dozen apples in nineteenth century rural Germany, to the high courts and modern-day property laws, this English-language translation of Habermas' Diebe vor Gericht explores how everyday incidents of petty stealing and the ordinary people involved in these cases came to shape the current legal system.

Habermas draws from an unusual cache of archival documents of theft cases, tracing the evolution and practice of the legal system of Germany through the nineteenth century. This close reading, relying on approaches of legal anthropology, challenges long-standing narratives of legal development, state building, and modern notions of the rule of law. Ideal for legal historians and scholars of modern German and nineteenth-century European history, this innovative volume steps outside the classic narratives of legal history and gives an insight into the interconnectedness of social, legal and criminal history.

Legal History, European Jurisdictions, Germany
Abbreviations of the laws

Part I. What Is Theft? Thieves and Jurists - Questions of Honor and Property:
1. Who are the thieves and who are the victims? 2. How does a person end up in court - why does something go on the record? 3. The theft happens - from act to crime

Part II. How Law Is Made: Evidence Production:
4. Techniques for finding truth - the slow production of the state of law
5. Techniques for finding truth and other kinds of knowledge formation: how can a new outlook be put into practice?
6. Techniques for finding truth: how do people become jurists, and how does property come into being?

Part III. In the Courtroom, or What Is Law?:
7. Reforms for more legal equality, justice, and public openness?
8. The meaninglessness of jury courts for justice
9. Legitimation through procedure
10. Irritations, dissonances, and various other matters: more than just theater