Research Handbook on Law and Courts
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Research Handbook on Law and Courts

Edited by Susan M. Sterett and Lee D. Walker

The Research Handbook on Law and Courts provides a systematic analysis of new work on courts as governing institutions. Authors consider how courts have taken on regulating fundamental categories of inclusion and exclusion, including citizenship rights. Courts’ centrality to governance is addressed in sections on judicial processes, sub-national courts, and political accountability, all analyzed in multiple legal/political systems. Other chapters turn to analyzing the worldwide push for diversity in staffing courts. Finally, the digitization of records changes both court processes and studying courts. Authors included in the Handbook discuss theoretical, empirical and methodological approaches to studying courts as governing institutions. They also identify promising areas of future research.
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Chapter 28: Creating digital legal subjects: the use of online criminal court records for research

Sarah Esther Lageson

Abstract

In the United States, criminal court records are routinely available for public inspection. The digitization of public records has greatly expanded these access options, making court records easier than ever to access for researchers, corporate interests, and private individuals. This article considers the opportunities and costs ushered in by these technological shifts, paying careful attention to the ethics of digital subjectization for people whose details are contained in digital court records.

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