• Legal history
      September 2012

      The Legal History of Wales

      New Edition

      by Thomas Glyn Watkin (Author)

      Watkin provides a history of the various legal systems by which Wales and its people have been governed over the last two millenia, including the civil law of Rome, the laws of the native Welsh people, the canon law of the Church and the English common law. This book shows how in each age the people of Wales have adapted to and adopted the legal traditions which they have encountered and assesses the importance of this inheritance for the future of modern Wales within both Europe and the wider international community.

    • Legal history

      Famous Cases

      Nine Trials That Changed the Law

      by Brian Block (Author), John Hostettler (Author)

      The authors of this work have assembled the background to a selection of leading cases in English Law. From the Mareva case (synonymous with a type of injunction) to Lord Denning's classic ruling in the High Trees House case (the turning point for equitable estoppel).

    • Legal history

      Until They are Seven: The Origins of Women's Legal Rights

      by John Wroath (Author)

      Until the 1850s, under the Law a husband and wife were one, and that one was the husband. Presenting an account of the origins of women's rights to property and their children, this work deals with the moves made by Henrietta Greenhill, Caroline Norton and their associates.

    • Legal history

      Champions of the Rule of Law

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      An account of the Lawyers who helped — over centuries — to develop and protect civil liberties, human rights and the Rule of Law. Also discusses breaches of the Rule of Law in modern cases and in response to terrorism. Champions of the Rule of Law looks at an overarching principle of English Law. It describes how a powerful and fundamental rule came about and how it has been preserved in the face of attempts to circumvent it. Standing at the heart of all matters of justice — and now exported to many parts of the world — the Rule of Law holds, in short, that the Law applies in equal measure to everyone. No matter how high, mighty or privileged someone may be, or whatever claim or allegation is being made, all those coming before it should always be treated in just the same way as anyone else will be. Events in both modern times and across legal History readily demonstrate the sometimes precarious nature of the rule and the need for ‘champions’ who are prepared to uphold and defend it—and whilst the need for such a rule may seem obvious on any balanced view of how justice should be dispensed, the central importance of the rule is by no means intuitive to some people. This means that there is always a need to re-iterate the purpose of the rule, the arguments behind it and to understand the mechanisms which safeguard and protect it. Whenever the Rule of Law does fall under threat, whether due to arrogance, claims to special treatment, misguided understandings, dubious explanations or lack of due process, there is a need for people of the calibre of those described in this book to step forward. Quite apart from the book’s interest for Lawyers, historians and students it will appeal to anyone seeking reassurance that justice is truly blind, fair, even-handed and accessible to all. With a Foreword by Lord Steyn.

    • Legal history

      Criminal Jury Old and New

      Jury Power from Early Times to the Present Day

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      Giving an account of the jury - from its genesis onwards - including post-Criminal Justice Act 2003, this book deals with all the great political and legal landmarks and shows how the jury developed - and survived to become a key democratic institution capable of resisting monarchs, governments and sometimes plain Law.

    • Legal history

      Execution

      One Man's Life and Death

      by John Pugh (Author)

      Provides an account of the life and times of William Watkins - 'an ordinary Englishman' - who, having fathered ten children, was executed in 1951 for the murder of his eleventh child.

    • Legal history

      Fighting for Justice

      The History and Origins of Adversary Trial

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      Adversary trial emerged in England only in the 18th century. Its origins and significance have tended to go unrecognised by judges, Lawyers, jurists and researchers until relatively modern times when conflict has become a key social issue.

    • Legal history

      Cesare Beccaria

      The Genius of "On Crimes and Punishments"

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      In eighteenth century continental Europe penal Law was barbaric. Gallows were a regular feature of the landscape, branding and mutilation common and there existed the ghastly spectacle of men being broken on the wheel. To make matters worse, people were often tortured or put to death (sometimes both) for minor crimes and often without any trial at all. Like a bombshell a book entitled On Crimes and Punishments exploded onto the scene in 1764 with shattering effect. Its author was a young nobleman named Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794). A central message of that—now classic—work was that such punishments belonged to ‘a war of nations against their citizens’ and should be abolished. It was a cri de coeur for thorough reform of the Law affecting punishments and it swept across the continent of Europe like wildfire, being adopted by one ruler after another. It even crossed the Atlantic to the new United States of America into the hands of President Thomas Jefferson. In a wonderful sentence which concludes Beccaria’s book, he sums up matters as follows: “ In order that every punishment may not be an act of violence, committed by one man or by many against a single individual, it ought to be above all things public, speedy, necessary, the least possible in the given circumstances, proportioned to its crime (and) dictated by the Laws.” Civilising penal Law remains a topical issue but it began with Cesare Beccaria.

    • Legal history

      Dissenters, Radicals, Heretics and Blasphemers

      The Flame of Revolt that Shines Through English History

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      Shows the historical importance of challenges to the state and powerful groups. Demonstrates how rights we take for granted have been acquired and set into Law over time thanks to the actions of committed men and women.A key historical text. A certain level of dissent, protest and open debate is a central part of UK History and democratic processes. Taking key events from both the past and modern times John Hostettler demonstrates how when legitimate avenues of challenge to the actions of the state or other powerful groups become closed to people then they are bound to assert their grievances in other sometimes less acceptable ways. His book also shows how a proud tradition of opposition in the face of abuse of power, repression, oppression or simply inertia of the part of the authorities has led to many positive changes. Sometimes these quite legitimate outcomes might not have been achieved but for the actions of the few, those who were prepared to stand out against such things as injustice, inequality, corruption, abuse and state-sponsored oppression. John Hostettler also demonstrates how at different times in British History the state has reacted in different ways to ‘trouble causers’, including in some instances by the use of extreme forms of violence, censorship, Law and punishments. From questionable incidents of the past to the sometimes dubious workings of modern-day governance, John Hostettler provides a first-rate assessment of such key matters as proportionality, citizens’ rights, tolerance/intolerance, democratic processes and the protections forged over the years. He also shows how the Law itself has developed even if this has sometimes quelled the opportunities to oppose vested interests or wealth and power. Waterside Press congratulates John Hostettler on his 21t book written to the same fine standard as all his other works. A must for legal and social historians.

    • Legal history
      May 2012

      Vengeance Is Mine

      The Scandalous Love Triangle That Triggered the Boyce-Sneed Feud

      by Bill Neal

    • Legal history

      A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      John Hostettler’s brand new work is an ideal introduction. It charts all the main developments of criminal justice, from Anglo-Saxon dooms to the Common Law, struggles for political, legislative and judicial ascendency and the formation of the modern-day Criminal Justice System. Among a wealth of topics the book looks at the Rule of Law, the development of the criminal courts, police forces, jury, justices of the peace and individual crimes and punishments. It locates all the iconic events of criminal justice History and Law reform within a wider background and context - demonstrating a wealth and depth of knowledge. John Hostettler is well-known to readers of Waterside Press books. He is just at home discussing the Star Chamber or Seven Bishops as he is the impact of the executions of King Charles I, Derek Bentley or Ruth Ellis. From Victorian policing to madness and mayhem, hate crime and miscarriages of justice to radicals, terrorists, human rights or restorative justice, A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales contains an enormous supply of facts, information, and ideas.

    • Legal history

      Sir William Garrow

      His Life, Times and Fight for Justice

      by John Hostettler (Author), Richard Braby (Author)

      A comprehensive account of lawyer William Garrow’s life, career, family and connections. Sir William Garrow was born in Middlesex in 1760 and called to the Bar in 1783. He was the dominant figure at the Old Bailey from 1783 to 1793, later becoming an MP, Solicitor-General, Attorney-General and finally a judge and Lawmaker within the Common Law Tradition. Sir William Garrow is a generous work in which well-known legal historian and biographer John Hostettler and family story-teller Richard Braby (a descendant of Garrow) combine their skills and experience to produce a gem of a book. ‘Without the pioneering work of William Garrow, the legal system would be stuck in the Middle Ages’: Radio Times ‘Right – hands up all those who have heard of William Garrow. Hmm, thought so – me neither. That will all change ….’ Frances Gibb's Law Section, The Times Aside from BBC1 TV’s prime-time drama series ‘Garrow’s Law’, the story of Sir William Garrow’s unique contribution to the development of English Law and Parliamentary affairs is so far little known by the general public. This book tells the real story of the man behind the drama. Garrow is now in the public-eye for daring to challenge entrenched legal ways and means. His ‘gifts to the world’ include altering the relationship between judge and jury (the former had until then dominated over the latter in criminal trials), helping to forge the presumption of innocence and ensuring a general right to put forward a defence using a trained Lawyer. He gave new meaning to the forensic art of cross-examination, later diverting skills honed as a radical to help the Crown when it was faced with plots, treason and revolution. The lost story of Sir William Garrow and its rediscovery will prove intriguing for professional and general readers alike and will be an invaluable ‘missing-link’ for legal and social historians. It is also a remarkable work of genealogical research which will register strongly with family historians. 'A Law book yes, but boring no, a delight to read': Internet Law Book Reviews 'A blockbuster of a book': Phillip Taylor MBE of Richmond Green Chambers '[Hostettler and Braby's] definitive biography ... is informative, entertaining and a really good read, and in the process rescues Garrow from undeserved obscurity': Littlehampton Gazette. Authors John Hostettler was a practising solicitor in London for thirty-five years as well as undertaking political and civil liberties cases in Nigeria, Germany and Aden. His earlier books include several biographical and historical works, and his books for Waterside Press include * Thomas Erksine and Trial by Jury (2010); * The Criminal Jury Old and New; * Fighting for Justice -The History and Origins of Adversary Trial; * A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales (2009); and * Hanging in the Balance - A History of the Abolition of Capital Punishment in Britain (with Dr Brian P. Block). Richard Braby is a direct descendent of Sir William Garrow and as an avocation is a family story teller. He collects and preserves the stories of his family’s ancestors. Now retired, his career was conducting educational research during the emergence of the personal computer. Dr. Braby is an author of over 50 technical publications, and was a long time member of the Human Factors Society. Geoffrey Robertson QC is one of the United Kingdom’s leading members of the Bar and its advocates, with an international practice as founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, London.

    • Legal history

      Whores and Highwaymen

      Crime and Justice in the Eighteenth-Century Metropolis

      by Gregory J. Durston (Author)

      The ‘whores’ and ‘highwaymen’ of Gregory Durston’s title are just some of the dubious characters met within this absorbing work, including thief-takers, trading justices, an upstart legal profession whose lower orders developed various ways to line their own pockets and magistrates and clerks who often preferred dealing with those cases which attracted fees. The book shows how little was planned by government or the authorities, and how much sprang up due to the efforts of individuals—so that the origins of social control, particularly at a local level, had much to do with personal ideas of morality, class boundaries and perceived threats, serious and otherwise. Based on news reports, Old Bailey and local archives, and other solid records the book weaves a compelling picture of a critical time in English History, through the voices of contemporary observers as well as the best of writings by experts ever since. At its broadest point, the book spans the period from the Glorious Revolution to the early 1820s. It falls into three parts: Crime and the Metropolis—including Metropolitan crime, attitudes to crime and policing, explanations for crime, and criminal Law and procedure. Policing—including policing the metropolis, constables, the watch, beadles, the role of the military, and the detection of crime. Justice—including the magistracy and its work, ways of prosecution, trial in the lower and higher courts, and the penal regimes of the day. A colourful account, which captures the essence of the period.

    • Legal history

      Garrow's Law

      The BBC Drama Revisited

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      For any of the five million people who saw the prime-time BBC series "Garrow's Law" this is an absorbing book. It is written by expert commentator John Hostettler who has studied Garrow extensively. The book uses the true facts on which the programme was based to compare drama and reality. Part I looks at the world in which the real life Garrow worked, marking out the main aspects of crime and punishment, which at the time operated primarily to deal with a troublesome but deprived and under-privileged strata of society: these unfortunates fed the conveyor belt to the courts, prisons and gallows. It was a world of few rights, effortless conviction, ready condemnation, draconian punishments and utter prejudice. This is the backdrop against which TV audiences were, in 2009, introduced to the story of the feisty individual who set out to change matters. Judicial order, procedural chaos and impudence in the face of authority fired the imagination of viewers as Garrow sought ever more ingenious ways of avoiding legal rules, such as those which prevented him from speaking directly to the jury, visiting a client in prison, or knowing the evidence in advance. Part II takes the reader through the cases portrayed in the TV series explaining their true origins and the jig-saw of facts, roles or events with which the scriptwriters wrestled in the interests of dramatic impact. The book compares the ‘factional’ drama with what actually happened at the time. He also explains how, in reality, the Law had its own fictions - such as "pious perjury" - to prevent accused people from being completely subjugated by the legal system. "Garrow's Law" is a minor masterpiece in which the author brings his immense knowledge of his subject to bear in a highly readable and entertaining work that will be of interest to Lawyers and general public alike.

    • Legal history

      Mary Ann Cotton

      Britain’s First Female Serial Killer

      by David Wilson (Author)

      As one of the UK’s leading commentators, David Wilson shows how some serial killers stay in the headlines whilst others rapidly become invisible - or “unseen”. Yet Mary Ann Cotton is not just the first but perhaps the 1st’s most prolific female serial killer, with more victims than Myra Hindley, Rosemary West, Beverly Allit or male predators such as Jack the Ripper and Dennis Nilsen. But her own north east of England (and criminologists) apart, she remains largely forgotten, despite poisoning to death up to 21 victims in Britain’s ‘arsenic century’. Exploding myths that every serial killer is a ‘monster’, the author draws attention to Cotton’s charms, allure, capability, skill and ambition - drawing parallels or contrasting the methods and lifestyles of other serial killers from Victorian to modern times. He also shows how events cannot be separated from their social context – here the industrial revolution, growing mobility, women’s emancipation and greater assertiveness. And concerning the reticence of ‘human nature’, like Dr Harold Shipman, Cotton was allowed to go on killing despite reasons to suspect her. The book contains other resonances to aid understanding of how serial murderers can go undiscovered despite such things as coincidence, gossip, whispers or motives that become more obvious with the benefit of hindsight. It is also a detective story in which the persistence of a single individual saw Cotton tried and executed, events analysed first-hand from the archives and location visits as the author fills the gaps in a remarkable story. By a leading expert on serial killers; Meticulously researched and highly readable; Fresh interpretations mean this book is destined to be the definitive title on Mary Ann Cotton. ‘An enthralling read…David Wilson does not write generic ‘True Crime’, but History of the highest order’: Judith Flanders, best-selling author, journalist and historian. David Wilson is Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. An ex-prison governor he has broadcast for the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 (where he presents ‘Killers Behind Bars’). His books include Serial Killers: Hunting Britons and Their Victims 1960-2006 (2007) and Looking for Laura: Public Criminology and Hot News (2011).

    • Legal history

      Twenty Famous Lawyers

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      An entertaining diversion for Lawyers and others, Twenty Famous Lawyers focuses on household names and high profile cases. Contains valuable insights into legal ways and means and looks at the challenges of advocacy, persuasion and the finest traditions of the Law. With a backdrop of famous cases and personalities, Twenty Famous Lawyers is a kaleidoscope of information about the world of Lawyers. To the fore are 20 individuals selected by John Hostettler as representative of those who have left their mark on legal developments. Ranging across countries, cultures and time these are people who helped raise (or in some cases lower) the Law’s values and standards. From high politics to human rights to legal loopholes, manipulation, pitfalls and downright trickery, the book is also a celebration of the contribution made by Lawyers to society and democracy — often by those pushing boundaries or challenging injustice or convention. The book’s ‘supporting cast’ includes such diverse personalities as Julius Caesar, Oscar Wilde, Gilbert and Sullivan, the Prince Regent and Lily Langtry. It covers trials for treason, murder, terrorism and even regicide, visiting courts from the Old Bailey to the Supreme Court of the USA to those of Ancient Rome. With chapters on: Clarence Darrow, Edward Carson, William Howe and Abraham Hummel, Matthew Hale, Marcus Cicero, Henry Brougham, John Adams, Helena Kennedy, Norman Birkett, Jeremy Bentham, Geoffrey Robertson, Abraham Lincoln, Edward Coke, Thomas Jefferson, Shami Chakrabati, James Fitzjames Stephen, Edward Marshall Hall, Gareth Peirce, Lord Denning and Cesare Beccaria.

    • Legal history

      The Colour of Injustice

      The Mysterious Murder of the Daughter of a High Court Judge

      by John Hostettler (Author)

      Based on actual (sometimes exclusive) materials, The Colour of Injustice raises questions about politics and the judiciary in post Second World War Northern Ireland. Describing parallel worlds of power and influence, this book - the first on the case - shows corruption at its most disturbing, justice at its most deficient. The case of Ian Hay Gordon involves a miscarriage of justice brought about in circumstances of privilege, patronage and the social and religious divides existing in Northern Ireland in the decades following World War II. It lifts the lid on a world in which institutions operated against a backdrop of behind-the-scenes influences and manipulation, in which nothing is what it seems due to hidden allegiances, walls of silence and a multitude of competing agendas spanning religious, sectarian and authoritarian interests. It is also a case in which despite the framing of an innocent man there was sufficient concern that he might not be guilty that a way had to be found to ensure that he did not end up on the gallows. Hence the twists, turns and manipulations of a tragic story that was to see a young and until then medically-fit RAF officer confined to a mental institution for a large part of his life. Behind this bizarre sequence of events sits the tragic death of Patricia Curran, the daughter of a High Court judge, killed in the grounds of their home (or was she murdered elsewhere?), a refusal to admit investigators to Glen House, Whiteabbey, Belfast where blood was many years later discovered beneath a carpet, delay in calling the police, private removal of the body, a knee-jerk arrest and other mysterious events surrounding a case in which no proper investigation of the crime scene or other potential suspects took place. Excerpt: "The formal processes of criminal justice and the techniques of police interrogation apart, the investigative process is revealed to have been forensically incompetent ... The identity of Patricia Curran’s killer remains unknown and, thanks to the performance of various members of the dramatis personæ in this tragedy it may ever remain so. Nonetheless, it may be possible with some accuracy to conjecture who the murderer might have been." John Hostettler is one of the UK’s leading legal biographers, having written over 20 biographies and other books on legal History. With Richard Braby he was the author of the acclaimed and highly successful Sir William Garrow: His Life, Times and Fight for Justice as reflected in the BBC TV series Garrow’s Law.

    • Legal history
      March 2010

      The Dialogue of the Government of Wales (1594)

      Updated Text and Commentary

      by John Gwynfor Jones (Author)

      This volume is broadly divided into two main sections. The first part comprises a detailed introduction to the background of "The Dialogue", written in 1594 by George Owen of Henllys, north Pembrokeshire, followed by an updated version of the text with explanatory notes. George Owen was the most observant Welsh historians of the late sixteenth century, and in the "Dialogue" he discusses the main functions of legal institutions of government in Tudor Wales following the Acts of Union (1536-43). The discourse is not merely a description of those institutions but rather, in the form of a dialogue, it provides an analysis of the good and bad aspects of the Tudor legal structure. Emphasis is placed on the administration of the Acts of Union, and comparisons are drawn with the harsh penal legislation which had previously been imposed by Henry IV. Owen reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the Henrician settlement, but heartily praises the Tudor regime, regarding Henry VII and Henry VIII as liberators of the Welsh nation which the author, in the 'prophetic tradition', associated with the nation's historic destiny. In this 'Dialogue' Demetus is described as a native Welsh gentleman and Barthol as the German lawyer from Frankfort travelling through Europe and observing legal practices. The Socratic method applied reveals the Renaissance style of conducting debates, a framework which gives the work much of its appeal. The "Dialogue" is an invaluable Tudor source which places Welsh Tudor government and administration in a broader historical perspective.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2017

      Britain and its internal others, 1750–1800

      Under rule of law

      by Dana Rabin, Andrew Thompson

      The rule of law, an ideology of equality and universality that justified Britain's eighteenth-century imperial claims, was the product not of abstract principles but imperial contact. As the Empire expanded, encompassing greater religious, ethnic and racial diversity, the law paradoxically contained and maintained these very differences. This book revisits six notorious incidents that occasioned vigorous debate in London's courtrooms, streets and presses: the Jewish Naturalization Act and the Elizabeth Canning case (1753-54); the Somerset Case (1771-72); the Gordon Riots (1780); the mutinies of 1797; and Union with Ireland (1800). Each of these cases adjudicated the presence of outsiders in London - from Jews and Gypsies to Africans and Catholics. The demands of these internal others to equality before the law drew them into the legal system, challenging longstanding notions of English identity and exposing contradictions in the rule of law.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2017

      Britain and its internal others, 1750–1800

      Under rule of law

      by Dana Rabin, Andrew Thompson

      The rule of law, an ideology of equality and universality that justified Britain's eighteenth-century imperial claims, was the product not of abstract principles but imperial contact. As the Empire expanded, encompassing greater religious, ethnic and racial diversity, the law paradoxically contained and maintained these very differences. This book revisits six notorious incidents that occasioned vigorous debate in London's courtrooms, streets and presses: the Jewish Naturalization Act and the Elizabeth Canning case (1753-54); the Somerset Case (1771-72); the Gordon Riots (1780); the mutinies of 1797; and Union with Ireland (1800). Each of these cases adjudicated the presence of outsiders in London - from Jews and Gypsies to Africans and Catholics. The demands of these internal others to equality before the law drew them into the legal system, challenging longstanding notions of English identity and exposing contradictions in the rule of law.

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