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Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (1829-94) published this three-volume account of the English criminal law's historical development in 1883, four years after his appointment as a judge of the High Court. It is a revision and expansion of the second chapter in Stephen's 1863 General View (also reissued in this series). At first sight, it is ironic that the author of this classic of legal historical scholarship was himself a Benthamite who favoured and promoted the codification of the common law and worked on codes of criminal law and procedure for India and for England.
Volume 1 includes coverage of pre-Conquest English criminal law, a survey of courts exercising criminal jurisdiction, a historical account of the main elements of criminal procedure, and a history of criminal punishments. Volume 2 includes discussion of the limits of criminal jurisdiction, the history of criminal responsibility, and the different categories of criminal offence. Volume 3 includes coverage of Indian criminal law.