The history of English criminal justice forms the core of this option; on some topics the scope is extended to include France and Germany. We begin with the evolution of common-law and Roman-canon methods of prosecuting, asking why the English adopted trial by jury, and why Continental courts institutionalised judicial torture. We then survey a range of criminal courts in England - coroner’s courts, quarter sessions and assizes - looking at how they worked and how people used them. We ask what differences social status and gender made, and do a case study of infanticide. Changing practices in policing, prosecuting, trying, pardoning and punishing are then investigated. We read Foucault's influential interpretation of the history of punishment, and consider the processes which led to the reform of the criminal law and the end of public execution. Throughout we are concerned with questions of historical causation, and with the political and ideological contexts of criminal justice. The history of feelings is also a recurrent theme..
- Module Supervisor: Catherine Crawford