This Handbook presents innovative research that compares different criminal procedure systems by focusing on the mechanisms by which legal systems seek to avoid error, protect rights, ground their legitimacy, expand lay participation in the criminal process and develop alternatives to criminal trials, such as plea bargaining, as well as alternatives to the criminal process as a whole, such as intelligence operations. The criminal procedures examined in this book include those of the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, India, Latin America, Taiwan and Japan, among others.
This book explores a number of key topics in the field of criminal procedure: the role of screening mechanisms in weeding out weak cases before trial; the willingness of different legal systems to suppress illegally obtained evidence; the ways legal systems set meaningful evidentiary thresholds for arrest and pretrial detention; the problem of wrongful convictions; the way legal systems balance the search for truth against other values, such as protections for fundamental rights; emerging legal protections for criminal defendants, including new safeguards against custodial questioning in the European Union, limitations on covert operations in post-Soviet states and the Indian system of anticipatory bail, as well as the mechanisms by which legal systems avoid trials altogether. A number of contributors also examine the impact of legal reforms that have newly introduced lay jurors into the fact-finding process, or that now require juries to give reasons for verdicts.
The ideal readership for this Handbook includes scholars and students of criminal procedure and comparative law, as well as civil liberties lawyers. Scholars of national security, the European Union, transitional justice and privacy will also be interested in the volume’s contributions to their fields.