State, law and prosecution : the emergence of the modern criminal process 1780-1910
This thesis deals with the emergence of the modern criminal process in England between 1780 and 1910 . It seeks to investigate this period from a standpoint which regards this development of the criminal process as intimately related to its internal structure and self-understanding. This is understood to occur through transformations in institutional structures produced by both the practices of the elements within it, and changes in the theoretical conceptualisation of the structure of the criminal process. The character of these developments, and the tendencies which they evince, are seen to be generally negative from the perspective of a theory of society which is intimately connected with an interest in emancipation. The relation between law, state and democracy is seen to be an essentially problematic one which does not conform to the ideas of progress, equality or liberty but to the maintenance of the survival of a social system which is seen as constantly at risk from a threatening environment of individuals whose obedience to the structure of the social order must be obtained continuously. The thesis is the result of original research which draws upon both original and secondary sources. The methodology used in writing the thesis is a combination of historical analysis and theoretical perspectives. There is a focus upon modern developments and it is hoped that the thesis will inform current debate on the future of the criminal process. The thesis is divided into four main chapters which concentrate upon particular parts of the criminal process in both their specificity and in their relation to the system and society as a whole. The first deals with the development of the institutional autonomy of the "New Police", during the nineteenth century, setting it in the context of the system of local governance. The second examines the system of prosecution describing the failure to institute a system of public prosecution and the predominance of the "New Police" as prosecutors in a system which remained private merely in form. The third deals with the position of the defendant during this process of transformation in the criminal process and presents its evolution as one which accorded with internal systemic considerations of the criminal process, and not as one which could be seen as the unfolding of the concept of freedom, equality or universality. The fourth deals with the creation of the Court of Appeal in 1907 which is seen, not as the institutional embodiment of justice, but as the product of the internal concerns of the Home Office Criminal Department with the systemic coherence and legitimacy of the criminal process.