The criminal trial is a transformative institution of social justice and discursive power. The twenty-first century adversarial trial is transgressive, due largely to the increased international focus on victim rights, terrorism, therapeutic jurisprudence, law and order, and human rights. By examining the genealogy of the criminal trial as a means to justice, this book argues that the criminal trial is forged out of competing discourses of justice that include, rather than exclude, the key stakeholders of justice - victims, defendants, police, communities and the state. Using Foucault's hermeneutics and discourse on power, this book questions the dominance and normative positioning of the adversarial paradigm, suggesting that the criminal trial is a discursive and decentralised institution that is increasingly focused on innovative modes of substantive and procedural justice, consistent with the history and genealogy of the trial from antiquity. The Criminal Trial in Law and Discourse draws from wide-ranging developments in criminal justice policy from the UK, Australia, Canada and the United States, and makes its case by selective use of the rise of human rights discourse under the European Convention on Human Rrights, victim rights, control orders and preventative law, terrorism, domestic law and order, policing, changes to the law of evidence, and issues in sentencing and punishment.
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