Understanding the Criminal Trial: A Response to HL Ho
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
March, 29 2011
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 533-547, 2010
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/23
Within academic circles, the criminal trial has become the subject of a significant amount of scrutiny by legal theorists, criminologists, historians and philosophers. This has produced a rich vein of analysis, enlivening debates about the role of the criminal trial in the broader context of the criminal justice system, and in its relationship to criminal law, evidence and procedure. HL Ho’s liberal theory analysis of the trial is a thoughtful and thought-provoking intervention into this field. In this article, by way of response to Ho, I engage with his argument somewhat indirectly - by examining the insights generated by socio-historical studies of the criminal trial. Harnessing these disciplinary resources in the quest to understand the criminal trial produces a different picture of criminal trial process, one in which the tensions between its different parts and its profoundly coercive character is evident.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: criminal trials, liberalism, criminal law, socio-historical approaches
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Date posted: March 30, 2011
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