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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.

Open Access (free)
The use of character evidence in Victorian sodomy trials

defendant’s good character took on a disproportionate importance. The chief magistrate at the Guildhall, Sir Richard Carden, told Campbell that the case was ‘entirely a question of character, and if you can show me that you are a respectable person, it will have more weight in my mind than anything you can elicit from the [police] officers.’5 Campbell’s trial was not unique among nineteenth-century trials for sodomy and homosexual offences in its emphasis on character. While the numbers of reported cases are small, the evidence which emerges from law 36 Trials of

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
Open Access (free)

.22 By examining the instances of evidentiary objections in civil cases between 1745 and 1820, Gallanis argues that lawyers’ experiences in the new forum of the criminal courtroom equipped them with the skills and the sensibilities to create ‘rules’ of evidence to control the conduct of litigation in the civil courts. Joel Eigen and Harry Cocks explore the influence of scientific and pseudoscientific knowledge in chapters 2 and 3 on Victorian insanity trials and trials for homosexual offences, respectively. Eigen uses the murder trial of one William Newton Allnut as

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000