CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roberts & Hunter on the Human Rights Revolution in Criminal Evidence and Procedure

Paul Roberts and Jill Hunter (University of Nottingham and affiliation not provided to SSRN) have posted Introduction - The Human Rights Revolution in Criminal Evidence and Procedure (CRIMINAL EVIDENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS: REIMAGINING COMMON LAW PROCEDUREAL TRADITIONS, P. Roberts and J. Hunter, eds., Hart Publishing, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Criminal procedure in the common law world is being recast in the image of human rights. The cumulative impact of human rights laws, both international and domestic, presages a revolution in common law procedural traditions. 

This is the thematic introductory chapter to Roberts and Hunter (eds), Criminal Evidence and Human Rights: Reimagining Common Law Procedureal Traditions (Hart Publishing, 2012). The edited collection comprises 16 new essays exploring various aspects of the ‘human rights revolution’ in criminal evidence and procedure in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Scotland, South Africa and the USA.

The contributors provide expert evaluations of their own domestic law and practice with frequent reference to comparative experiences in other jurisdictions. Some essays focus on specific topics, such as evidence obtained by torture, the presumption of innocence, hearsay, the privilege against self-incrimination, and ‘rape shield’ laws. Others seek to draw more general lessons about the context of law reform, the epistemic demands of the right to a fair trial, the domestic impact of supra-national legal standards (especially the ECHR), and the scope for re-imagining common law procedures through the medium of human rights. 

This prefatory essay summarises the main themes and topics developed in each subsequent chapter, and indicates their relationship to the project's overarching concept of 'human rights revolution' and its methodological foundations in 'common law comparativism.'

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