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Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries$
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James M. Donovan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833636

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895771_donovan

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

The “palladium of liberty”: Juries, the Revolution, and Napoleon, 1791–1814

The “palladium of liberty”: Juries, the Revolution, and Napoleon, 1791–1814

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter One The “palladium of liberty”: Juries, the Revolution, and Napoleon, 1791–1814
Source:
Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries
Author(s):

James M. Donovan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807895771_donovan.5

This chapter discusses the basic rules and machinery governing the jury during the eras of the French Revolution and Napoleon. It notes that the institution was introduced in a wave of Enlightenment-inspired enthusiasm and optimism about the capacity of citizen judges (who expressed the sovereignty of the people) to judge on the basis of their common sense and on a sure knowledge of “facts.” The chapter observes that the political turmoil of the Revolution negatively affected the jury system, and magistrates began to criticize jurors for bias and leniency. It notes that Napoleon then placed stricter limits on the jury system. The chapter observes that the writers of Napoleon's codes exerted perhaps the most important influence on the future behaviour of the juries by retaining two other fundamental principles from the Revolutionary legal reforms. It identifies these two systems to be the system of “moral proofs” and the concept of fixed punishments.

Keywords:   French Revolution, Napoleon, jury, magistrates, legal reforms, moral proofs, fixed punishments

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