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Advocacy and the Making of the Adversarial Criminal Trial 1800–1865 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Advocacy and the Making of the Adversarial Criminal Trial 1800–1865

David J. A. Cairns


The modern adversarial criminal trial emerged from the punitive and procedural upheaval in the criminal law of the first half of the nineteenth century. The campaign against capital punishment, which marked the century's early decades, stimulated procedural reform, including the enactment in 1836 of the Prisoners' Counsel Act. The 1836 Act enabled defence counsel for the first time to address the jury in felony trials. It generated a unique debate in Parliament, the press and the legal professions on the merits and dangers of advocacy. This book examines the debate and the practical implicatio ... More

Keywords: adversarial, criminal trials, capital punishment, Prisoners' Counsel Act, procedural reform, prosecution advocacy, defence advocacy, professional ethics, case studies, legal history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1999 Print ISBN-13: 9780198262848
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262848.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David J. A. Cairns, author