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Understanding the Criminal Trial: A Response to HL Ho

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 533-547, 2010

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/23

16 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2011  

Arlie Loughnan

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: March, 29 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: criminal trials, liberalism, criminal law, socio-historical approaches

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Loughnan, Arlie, Understanding the Criminal Trial: A Response to HL Ho (March, 29 2011). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 533-547, 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1798324

Arlie Loughnan (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
+61 2 9351 0246 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 0200 (Fax)

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