The Bar and the Old Bailey, 1750-1850 (Studies in Legal History)
Traditionally, the English criminal trial consisted of a relatively unstructured altercation between the victim-prosecutor and the accused, who generally appeared without a lawyer. A criminal bar had emerged in London by the 1780s, and in 1836 the Prisoners' Counsel Act recognized the defendant's right to legal counsel in felony trials and lifted many restrictions on the activities of defense lawyers. May explores the role of barristers before and after the Prisoners' Counsel Act.She also details the careers of individual members of the bar - describing their civil practice in local, customary courts as well as their criminal practice - and the promotion of Old Bailey counsel to the bench of that court. A comprehensive biographical appendix augments this discussion.
"Among the most thoroughly-researched explorations of the relationship between the upper branch of the legal profession and the reforms of the criminal trial to date. . . . Rooted in meticulous research into the diverse working lives of the individuals who made up the London bar, [it gives] readers a sense of the day to day practice at the Old Bailey. . . . A significant contribution." -- " Journal of Social History" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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