Jury trial, the defining institution of the English common law, has undergone incessant change across a history of more than eight centuries. In this lecture, Professor John H. Langbein traced the development of jury trial through four distinct epochs, from medieval to modern times. He emphasized a structural shortcoming in the formative age of jury trial, which he calls the 'investigation deficit'. His theme is that the challenge of responding to the investigation deficit constituted the main dynamic that shaped the development of jury trial across the epochs.
John H. Langbein, Sterling Professor of Law and Legal History, Yale University, writes about the history of English, American, and European civil and criminal justice. His books include History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions (with Lerner & Smith) (Kluwer 2009); The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial (Oxford U.P. 2003).
Chaired by: Professor Hugh Collins FBA, University of Oxford