Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Oxford History of the Laws of EnglandVolume XIII: 1820–1914 Fields of Development$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 January 2021

General Introduction and Overview

General Introduction and Overview

(p.3) I General Introduction and Overview
The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Keith Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of the criminal justice system during the early 19th century. Stark mismatches became increasingly identifiable between evolving social and political expectations and the capacity of the criminal justice system to meet such expectations. Urbanization, often accompanied by social dislocation, generated widespread perceptions of relentlessly rising rates of crime, a belief bolstered by the early deployment of officially produced criminal statistics. Concerns over the ability of a formally severe punishment regime, and most especially the capital threat and transportation, to suppress a vast range of criminality soon broadened into official scrutiny of the whole loose structure of prosecution and punishment. Increasing general pressure and willingness to resolve social problems through some state agency was manifest in some, but not all, areas of the criminal justice system. As for the criminal law itself, a combination of judicial resistance and parliamentary indifference thwarted sustained attempts at fundamentally reshaping both its form and much of its substance.

Keywords:   English law, legal history, criminal law, policing, prosecution

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .