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Discarding used organic samples in a forensic lab

The manifold materialities of human remains

Claudia Fonseca and Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

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Alison Rowlands

fostered witch-hunts as a way of encroaching CONCLUSION 211 upon the judicial competence of the Palatinate courts. This suggests that political priorities were as important in shaping the handling of witch-trials in the Palatinate as they were in Rothenburg and Nuremberg. 11 For Walther’s opinion, see pp. 196–7, 199–200. 12 Neither Kunstmann nor Schmidt deal in much depth with the issue of the role that the lower orders played in shaping the pattern of witch-trials in Nuremberg and the Palatinate. For Nuremberg Kunstmann merely says that there is no evidence that the

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Death and dismemberment

The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa

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Nicky Rousseau

8 Death and dismemberment: the body and counter-revolutionary warfare in apartheid South Africa 1 Nicky Rousseau As resistance intensified in what would turn out to be apartheid’s final decade, security forces in South Africa began covertly to exe­cute opponents extra-judicially, despite a formidable arsenal of security legislation and a state of emergency from 1985 to 1990.2 A noteworthy aspect of these executions is that the modes of killing varied, sometimes along regional lines, or according to the particular security unit involved. Disposal of the bodies

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Law

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John Mceldowney

ground between these perspectives: the role of the judicial power and how it is interpreted is called into question. In reviewing some of the historical evidence it is clear that judges from the earliest beginnings were prepared to go beyond the plain meaning of words and take account of extraneous material. In many instances this was a practical response to the problems of interpretation, and rarely did it seem to challenge the interests of the state. In the English common law this may have 102 DISCIPLINES been because of the absence of any formal doctrine of the

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Joseph Jaconelli

that was characterised by winner-take-all outcomes. 34 What is a trial? 60 In each case the Apology purports, rather, to recount Socrates’ speech in his own defence. Of course, the extent to which these works provide accurate summaries of the trials of Jesus and Socrates, free of the interpretations of their followers, has long been controversial. 61 Jeremy Bentham, ‘Rationale of judicial evidence, specially applied to English practice’, in J. Bowring (ed.), The Works of Jeremy Bentham (11 vols, Edinburgh, 1843), vi, p. 355. 62 Jeremy Bentham, ‘Draught of a code

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Trials of character

The use of character evidence in Victorian sodomy trials

H. G. Cocks

suspect. Only evidence of ‘good character’, however, was admissible as regards a defendant. Moreover, it was settled in 1864 that evidence of the defendant’s character – whether offered for or against him – must speak to reputation, and not mentality. Homosexual offences therefore provide a contrast to the increasing willingness of the English judicial system to examine directly a defendant’s mental state. Joel Peter Eigen has shown that in trials of murder and other offences against the person and property it was increasingly common to investigate states of partial or

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Pains and penalties procedure

How the House of Lords ‘tried’ Queen Caroline

R. A. Melikan

the several high court judges would be better confined in an adjoining chamber so as to insulate them from the evidence.50 Erskine wanted to permit questioning in a manner that he acknowledged was contrary to the rules of evidence, on the grounds that he had never approved of the rule in question.51 The degree to which the lords let political allegiances overwhelm their judicial responsibilities is questionable. During the trial there were significant demonstrations of political independence, though Wellington complained of ‘a great deal of caballing’ along party

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Strengthening the rule of law

Managing the criminal facets of war economies

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Jenny H. Peterson

-related trade, or complicit-facilitators who benefit from the corruption on which other war economy participants rely. Given the degree to which agents of security become enmeshed in war economies, particular attention needs to be paid to how these actors are themselves reformed. G 85 4062 building a peace economy_2652Prelims 25/11/2013 15:06 Page 86 Building a peace economy? Managing organised crime in Kosovo Although rule of law programming involves a wide range of institutions, this chapter will specifically examine reforms to Kosovo’s security services and judicial

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Anthony Musson

profession have been drawn towards the personnel of the central courts, mainly because of the quality and quantity of surviving evidence relating to the Courts of Common Pleas and King’s Bench, but also out of a preconceived idea of what constituted the legal profession.2 The distinction has been perpetuated in the significant corpus of research on the development of the justices of the peace, which has concentrated on the magistracy at the expense of the wider judicial context, and emphasises the supposed tension between the locally based men who served on judicial

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R. H. Helmholz

made above the line. This evidence demonstrates that the judges were not bound by a ‘take one or the other’ kind of system as one might suspect from the way in which sentences were submitted by the parties. The judges merely put the financial burden of having the sentences written out onto someone else. As was true for the documentary nature of procedure, the ‘model’ of judicial activism and professional expertise taken from manuals of Continental procedure is too simple. Perhaps there is even something slightly misleading about it as a description of what went on in