Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stebenne reviews Scheiber, Earl Warren and the Warren Court: The Legacy in American and Foreign Law

Harry N. Scheiber, ed., Earl Warren and the Warren Court: The Legacy in American and Foreign Law (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007) is reviewed for H-Law by David Stebenne, Department of History and College of Law, Ohio State University. Stebenne writes:

What is truly new and most interesting in this volume are the essays that deal with the Warren Court's influence on other (i.e., foreign) legal systems. The comparative approach has thus far mostly been lacking in studying the Warren Court, and this collection makes a serious start on filling in that gap in the scholarly literature. Earl Warren and the Warren Court includes essays by Javier Couso on Latin America, Thomas Ginsburg on East Asia, Edward Greenspan on Canada, Eivind Smith on Europe, and Kjell Ake Moder on Scandinavia.Of these, the ones dealing with the Warren Court's influence on Latin America,East Asia, and Europe are especially illuminating.
Couso, an assistant professor of law and political science at the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, argues persuasively that during the 1980s and 1990s, Latin American reformers were influenced by the Warren Court's legacy....In East Asia, the pattern was somewhat different. Thomas Ginsburg, an associate professor of law and director of the Program in Asian Law,Politics, and Society at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,chose three places (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) as case studies.These cases suggest that in East Asia, the Warren Court's rulings in the area of criminal procedure, and especially the rulings formulating the exclusionary rule (Mapp v. Ohio [1961]) and finding the right to counsel for criminal defendants (Gideon v. Wainright [1963]) instate courts, have had the biggest impact....In Europe, the pattern is different from either Latin America or East Asia. Eivind Smith, a professor and director of the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo, argues that the European legal systems have tended to view the Warren Court's innovations "much more as products of political activism than of' law'" (p. 323).

Read the full review here.