English Legal History and its Materials

Origins of the Peremptory Challenge

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My name is -----. I'm student from -------------------- Law Faculty, in Poland. I write in the hope that You can answer some questions that have been weighing on my mind of late. It puzzled me when did the defendant acquire the right to peremptory challenges in criminal trial? I think that according to Fleta peremptory challenges were not permitted: the appellor and appellee will be able to remove any jurors legitimately suspected, but it is not sufficient with any jury to put forward a challenge without giving a reason and , if this cannot be verified by those who are not challenged, the man who is challenged will be compelled to take the oath, Fleta, Book I, Cap. 32, p. 86); I have also found examples of challenge for cause in State trials of the reign of Edward the First, 1289-1293, (Tout, Johnstone), pp. 30 and 36 : et quod calumpnianerunt iuratores per certas et racionabiles causas, videlicet quod fuerunt homines Radulfi de Bello Campo qui totum factum procurauit contra eos, nee fuit eorum calumpnia allocata… But no trace of peremptory challenges. First examples are from the Northamptonshire Eyre of 1329-30 (Eyre of Northamptonshire 3-4 Edward III (1329-30), vol. I, p. 179). I have references to the chapter 3. Trial and the verdict revolution from Bellamy, The criminal trial in later medieval England but unfortunately don’t have access to this book. I would greatly appreciate if You could help. Best wishes,

Your move.



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r1 - 11 Nov 2008 - 14:10:54 - EbenMoglen
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