Symposium on Robert Burns's A Theory of the Trial
Robert P. Burns
Northwestern University - School of Law
Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 28, pp. 523-567
This Symposium addresses issues raised by Robert Burns's A Theory of the Trial and includes short essays by scholars in a range of disciplines such as rhetoric, social theory, social psychology, law, legal history, and comparative law. The book provides an example of "the interpretive turn" in the social sciences. Several of the contributions explore and challenge the ways in which the book presents an idealized picture of the American trial that still claims to be an accurate interpretation of the what the trial is. Several question the significance of the highly contextual form of decision-making explored in the book to the rule of law. Another questions the extent to which the work is an interpretation specifically of the American trial as opposed to trials in other common law countries. Burns provides a response to the essays.
Keywords: rhetoric, social theory, social psychology, law, legal history, comparative law
Date posted: August 14, 2003
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