LAWS3305 Crime And State In History

1. Evaluate the struggles to establish the Metropolitan London Police and impact of professional policing on criminal law enforcement. Explain the inadequacies of the ancient Statute of Winchester based system as it became apparent in the 18th centuryas well as the nature of opposition and resistance to the idea of police when introduced. Explain how Sir Robert Peel’s principles of policing attempted to address these concerns and reflected utilitarian influences, and their enduring relevance in Canada.

2. Examine the role of the Canadian North West Mounted Police in the context of frontier development in late 19th century Canada. Were the Mounties a positive instrument of nation-building, ensuring the rule of law, political stability and economic development that better secured Canadian sovereignty? Or were the Mounties a colonizing agent that suppressed Indigenous cultures and livelihoods? Be sure to outline both positions as you forward your own argument.

3. Criminal law codification had better prospects in Canada than in England, although it originated with Jeremy Bentham’s call for utilitarian criminal law reform. Explain how rationalizing modernizations of criminal law, from Peel’s English Criminal Law Consolidations, 1827-32 to Fitzjames Stephen’s Draft English Code, 1880 fell short of Bentham’s call for comprehensive codification. Assess the Canadian Criminal Code, 1892 as the legacy of these reform efforts. Also explain the particular Canadian circumstances that favoured codification here, resulting from colonial reception and the assertion of the Dominion of Canada’s
jurisdiction over criminal law, and the influence of the Dominion Consolidations on the 1892 Code.

4. The Prisoner’s Counsel Act, 1836 is a key reform in 19th century criminal law that transformed the criminal trial, although it has received less scholarly attention than the rise of professional policing and the penitentiary. Examine the circumstances of the large-scale entry of lawyers into the criminal trial as the prohibition on defence counsel in felony trials was relaxed in the 18thcentury, and the continuing resistance to the right to defence counsel. Assess the significance of the criminal bar on emergence of the modern criminal trial, including reference to lawyers’ impact on juries and judges, the accused, criminal procedure and evidence.

5. Why was the Kingston Penitentiary built? Did it reflect the same factors contributing to the rise of the penitentiary in Britain and the USA or particular local circumstances? In explaining the context of the Canadian narrative, briefly describe the old system of punishment (the automatic sentence of death for felony convictions, and the growing reliance on transportation as a ‘release valve’ through conditional pardons), and the critique of this system by both utilitarian and humanitarian reformers(ideas of deterrence and rehabilitation). Also discuss the influence of such reform ideas on Upper Canada’s legislature, the
impact of Peel’s Consolidations on the old practices of punishment, and the significance of their adoption here in 1833


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