The Prisoners’ Counsel Act 1836: Doctrine, Advocacy and the Criminal Trial

Griffiths, Cerian (2014) The Prisoners’ Counsel Act 1836: Doctrine, Advocacy and the Criminal Trial. Law, Crime and History, 4 (2). pp. 28-47. ISSN 2045-9238

Griffiths The Prisoners Counsel Act 1836 final.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (471kB) | Preview
Official URL:


In recent years greater numbers of thinkers have considered the Prisoners' Counsel Act 1836 but have viewed the Act through the lens of Whig history, as a further manifestation of the modernisation of criminal justice in the inevitable march towards adversarialism. This article addresses how the Act has been understood within broader literature concerning the nineteenth century felony trial. In particular, greater attention is paid to how counsel reacted to the Act, considering the nature of the contemporary Bar, the apparent silence from the Bar in reaction to the Act, what evidence might be drawn upon to gauge how members of the Bar might have reacted to changes within the trial and some possible explanation for such reactions. Lastly, some conclusions are drawn as to what these reactions reveal about pervading perceptions of the Bar during the mid-nineteenth century.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Prisoners' Counsel Act 1836, English Bar, adversarialism, representation of accused
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 11:10
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics