Friday, January 7, 2011

Havens reviews Pole on Representation and the Jury in Anglo-American Legal History

The Law & Politics Book Review has posted a review of Contract and Consent: Representation and the Jury in Anglo-American Legal History (University of Virginia Press, 2010), a series of essays by the late J. R. Pole. Pole was the Rhodes Professor Emeritus of American History and Institutions at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford.

From reviewer Lauren Havens:
Pole argues that to better understand the development of American law, one should forget the idea of the separation of powers that we so often believe to be critical in law and the American government. While today we may take a separation of powers for granted, that separation did not come about easily or naturally. The concept of a separation of powers did not emerge in American government until after much of the law governing the colonies was already in place, and Pole wants the reader to understand how American law came into being through the intermingling of English common law with colonists’ experience. In the first part of the book, Pole focuses on the interaction between contracts, as between the governing ruler and those being governed, and the consent required to sustain that mode of government. The second part of the book comprises independent essays in which Pole discusses other legal themes important in the transition of the American colonies from being subjects of Britain to being a self-governing nation.
You can read the rest of the review here.

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