Table of Contents

Comparative Criminal Procedure

Comparative Criminal Procedure

Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series

Edited by Jacqueline E. Ross and Stephen C. Thaman

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.

Chapter 6: Procedural economy in pre-trial procedure: developments in Germany and the United States

Shawn Marie Boyne

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice


Almost from the adoption of the Constitution, it has been apparent that the provisions dealing with criminal procedure represented a set of ideals rather than a code of practice. (Goldstein, 1974: 1009)1.INTRODUCTIONFor decades, comparative law scholarship that focused on Western criminal justice systems regularly viewed national legal systems through what A. Esin …rücü calls a ‘[t]raditional black-letter law-oriented (rule-based)’ framework that was ‘normative, structural, institutional, and positivistic’ (…rücü, 2006: 449). Seen through this lens, scholars categorized most of the world’s criminal justice systems as adversarial, inquisitorial, or mixed systems. According to conventional scholarship, these two alternative models captured the essential structural differences that reflected competing visions of criminal law and procedure (Van Koppen and Penrod, 2003: 2). As the field of comparative law has continued to develop, theorists such as Mauro Cappelletti (1989), Mirjan Dama_ka (1986), and John Merryman (Merryman and Perez-Perdomo, 2007) proposed alternative frameworks employing concepts such as legal culture, legal families, and contrasting models of governmental authority to categorize legal systems. However, when we shift the focus away from contrasting the normative theories that underlie the criminal justice systems and seek to understand how institutional actors operate within the framework of the law, the utility of these models wanes. Although the traditional dichotomy between adversarial and inquisitorial systems often reflected an analysis of criminal procedure as it existed in statutory and case law, the law’s impact is mediated by institutional interactions.

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