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The modern adversarial criminal trial emerged from the punitive and procedural upheaval in the criminal law of the first half of the nineteenth century. This is the first scholarly work to analyse the practice of advocacy and to identify its significance for the administration of justice. The topics discussed include the increasing sophistication of prosecution and defence advocacy, the beginnings of modern professional ethics and the conscious rationalisation of adversary procedure as the best means to discover the truth.
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David Cairns is a practices international commercial arbitration with B Cremades Y Asociados in Madrid. He studied at the universities of Canterbury, Toronto and Cambridge.
`with the enactment of the Prisoners' Counsel Act 1836 came defence council's highly significant right to address the jury directly. In the inaugural volume of the new series 'Oxford Studies in Modern Legal History' ... David Cairns provides a valuable addition to the body of scholarship
covering this fundamental transformation in the nature of the criminal trial.'
K.J.M.Smith, Legal History, Vol.21, No.2, Aug 00.
`Cairns has undoubtedly provided legal historians with an absorbing and enlightening addition to the literature on advocacy and more generally to that of criminal justice history.'
K.J.M.Smith, Legal History, Vol.21, No.2, Aug.00.
`fine book which both develops the work of earlier historians, such as Langbein and Beattie, but also challenges them in important ways ... The argument of the book is straightforward ... an important and valuable book.'
Lindsay Farmer, Law Quarterly Review, January 2000
`this is a convincing argument and fills a significant gap in legal history. It is tightly constructed ... The book is well-written and enjoyable, characterised by fluidity and, particularly because Cairns tells his story through the great 19th century criminal cases, a strong sense of
narrative and pace ... Cairns has opened up a fascinating field of research ... This is a thought-provoking, well-researched and important book, highly recommended not only to academics but also to practitioners with an interest in the philosophic and historic bases for the role of the advocate and
theories of professional responsibility.'
Emily Henderson, Cambridge Law Journal 1999
`excellent book ... David Cairns' study of the early nineteenth-century criminal trial makes compelling reading. It is a thorough and highly readable piece of scholarship which convincingly calls for a realignment of our perspective on the critical historical steps which led to the emergence
of English criminal adversarial procedure.'
Roderick Munday, Justice of the Peace Vol 163
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