The trial in history, volume II
Editor: R. A. Melikan

Lawyers had been producing reports of trials and appellate proceedings in order to understand the law and practices of the Westminster courts since the Middle Ages, and printed reports had appeared in the late fifteenth century. This book considers trials in the regular English criminal courts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also considers the contribution of criminal lawyers in developing the modern rules of evidence. The book explores the influence of scientific and pseudoscientific knowledge on Victorian insanity trials and trials for homosexual offences, respectively. The British Trials Collection contains the only readily accessible and near-verbatim accounts of civil trials from the 1760s, 1770s, and 1780s, decades crucial to understanding how the rules of evidence developed. It might be thought that Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA) or its regulations would have introduced trials in camera. The book presents a comparative critique of war crimes trials before the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo and the International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. The first spy trial by court martial after the legal change in 1915 was that of Robert Rosenthal, who was German. The book also considers the principal features of the first war crimes trial of the twenty-first century in terms of personnel and procedures, the alleged crimes, and issues of legality and legitimacy. It also speculates on the narratives or non-narratives of the trial and how these may impact on the professed aims and objectives of the litigation.

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the truth. In the inquisitorial trial, by contrast, the judge is more active – a factor which reflects the need for a judicial investigation of the circumstances in which an alleged crime has been committed. In some 24 What is a trial? legal systems the alleged victim, or his family, may be joined in the proceedings (the partie civile) for the purpose of gaining monetary compensation from the accused. Where this facility is not available, a separate action must be brought to obtain damages, with the possibility that the two proceedings may end in contradictory

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
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council (the Turmherren) about their alleged crimes, in an ordinary room if the interrogation occurred without torture, or in a subterranean dungeon if torture was to be inflicted by the municipal executioner. Records as close as possible to verbatim were made of these interrogations as they took place: these were then read and discussed by the rest of the council. When a trial was over these records were bound into the Interrogation Books, along with all other documents pertaining to the case: witnesses’ statements, the opinions of legal, theological or medical experts

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
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Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East

of the occupiers. Many villagers died by this method, and few resistance fighters were caught during raids by the occupation’s troops. Hanging criminalized these victims through an act of punishment historically associated throughout Europe with banditry. This point was driven home by the signs hung around their necks, proclaiming their allegedcrimes’, such as theft, robbery, or looting. Many of the corpses were also displayed prominently on the main thoroughfares of towns, or at important intersections or crossroads, ensuring their view by the local populace

in Destruction and human remains
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The use of character evidence in Victorian sodomy trials

actual perpetration of the alleged crime were indispensably necessary before the case could be legally left to the Jury.’35 He added that ‘the crime for which I am sentenced has been very prevalent amongst the Telegraph lads’, and that the case against him rested upon the ‘unsupported testimony of lads who admitted having allowed themselves to be defiled for five shillings’.36 However, the fact that the character of accusers was likely to be heavily scrutinised at trial meant that their character was probably central to the prosecution’s decision to bring the case to

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
A twenty-first century trial?

of a former head of state carried massive significance in terms of the power of law and institutions acting in the name of the international community. As many observers and the prosecution noted, the ghost of Nuremberg had finally risen. The trial proper began on 12 February 2002 and was expected to last up to two years. This chapter considers the principal features of the first war crimes trial of the twenty-first century in terms of personnel and procedures, the alleged crimes, and issues of legality and legitimacy. It also speculates on the narratives or non

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
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Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland

‘new kind’ of accusations. Both charges were brought to court by the 12 Beyond the witch trials local clergyman, and not by neighbours. When the charges were first raised in 1675, the prosecutor used the term vidskepelse. Agata’s alleged crimes included the employment of various magical methods to discover the person who had stolen some fish from her. The clergyman suggested Agata had tried to bury some pieces of a doorstep broken by the thief along with a human corpse, failing that she was said to have resorted to ‘other unlawful means’, putting something into a

in Beyond the witch trials
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A male strategy

, unsurprising that there were Devil’s pact trials during the second half of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Yet, intriguingly, there was no decrease in the number of pact cases before the King’s Council over the whole period concerned. Between 1680–1740 there were fourteen trials, and fifteen between 1741–89. While these figures certainly suggest a stable and unchanging popular belief in the power of the Devil during the eighteenth century, the trial material reveals a significant change in terms of the judicial interpretation of the alleged crime. One of the

in Beyond the witch trials
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informers, a system strengthened up to the nineteenth century by statutory payments for information. In the continental trials a similar role was played by delators – informers who denounce rather than accuse. Very often the delators, who were frequently protected by anonymity, were not themselves the victims of the alleged crime, although they might profess to be scandalised by it. If they were acting properly and not maliciously they were regarded as relieving their own consciences by passing to the court information which might be of interest to the judges as guardians

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
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so great that the police have to investigate this. The police repeated their message in several news media: they would like to get in touch with the dad; they wanted to get to the bottom of the matter, which was now on the public prosecutor’s desk – the classification of the alleged crime was ‘abuse’ – but so far they did not know who the dad was (Röstlund 2012). The police also mentioned the hundreds of telephone calls they had received from journalists, but also from so-called ordinary people. Rarely had a Floorball Dad 119 case been the cause of such great

in Exposed