Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John H. Langbein

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287239.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2020

The Lawyer-Free Criminal Trial

The Lawyer-Free Criminal Trial

(p.10) 1 The Lawyer-Free Criminal Trial
The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial

John H. Langbein

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the trial procedure in cases of serious crime, which took shape in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. Lawyers for prosecution and defense played virtually no role. Defense counsel was forbidden, and prosecution counsel was seldom used. The contemporary legal literature offered many supposed justifications for the rule forbidding defense counsel, which the chapter explores. Trial took the form of an ‘altercation’ between the accusers (the victim and any other witnesses) and the accused. The main purpose of the criminal trial was to hear the defendant respond in person to the accusing evidence. Contemporaries appear not to have understood how severely the procedure of the time disadvantaged the accused.

Keywords:   altercation trial, criminal defendant, criminal procedure, criminal trial, defense counsel, prosecution, trial

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 .