A Path towards the Protection of Individual Freedoms. The Expansion of Popular Justice in Europe (1789-1848)
A Path towards the Protection of Individual Freedoms. The Expansion of Popular Justice in Europe (1789-1848)
Descrição

This proposal will examine the expansion of popular justice in Europe from the French Revolution until the “Spring of Nations” in 1848. Surprisingly, the history of popular justice is an almost unexplored field even though the central issues directly related to this topic continue to dominate contemporary political and legal debates. Discussions regarding the merits and weaknesses of popular justice raise several fundamental questions: “Can popular justice perform the double function of maintaining public order and protecting individual freedoms?” “Do juries and elected magistrates have the competence and impartiality necessary to fulfil their role?” “Which classes of citizen should have the right to exercise these prerogatives?” Such questions arose with every change of regime in the late nineteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They were associated with the processes of political liberalism and national revolutions and touched upon the democratization and professionalization of the justice system. Popular justice was initially established in England, and then enshrined by the French Revolution. Concerned for the protection of individual freedoms, the French legislators adopted a legal model inspired by Common Law which was praised for its liberalism. The jury, in particular, was considered the best guarantor of independent and fair justice. However, French legislators introduced substantial modifications compared to Common Law. Their model was characterized by the inclusion of elected judges and thousands of jurors who had the huge responsibility of prosecuting and punishing crimes while at the same time defending the liberties of citizens. This process of inclusion led to the justice system opening up to less privileged classes (butchers, carpenters, potters, etc.) and to religious minorities (namely the Jews who were emancipated in 1792). This immediate participation of the people in the practice of justice was a revolutionary way to develop a democratic society based on the defense of fundamental freedoms and the creation of accountable institutions. In the framework of this project, I will seek alternative paths to promote fair and inclusive societies. To do this, I will identify the factors that helped or hindered the first expansion of popular justice in Europe. Far from being homogenous, this expansion was carried out at different paces in each nation. The research focuses on England and on parts of France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, which, as a result of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire, were the first territories to experience different forms and models of popular justice. The restoration of Old Regime governments in principalities that had been “liberated” from the French led to the disappearance of the popular institutions (such as the jury) in all of the annexed territories except for the Rhineland. The impact of this movement varied depending on national traditions and political contexts. This wave of suppression of popular justice should not obscure the fact that there was deep-seated support for this justice model. The subsequent period of political reactions reinforced the democratic ideal that popular justice was embodied by the European liberal elites. These elites saw popular participation as a guarantee for the defense of freedom and the independence of the judiciary. Popular participation converged with the battle for a liberal political system that was no longer based on the monarch’s sovereignty but on the sovereignty of the Nation. After the 1848 revolutions, the trial jury was temporarily adopted by the majority of principalities in Germany and Switzerland, and partially in Sardinia. The legal and liberal principles defended by the 1848 revolutionary movements, which carried the fragile hope of (re)-establishing popular justice, were similar to those supported in 1789. In order to explain this salience, my project will study the tumultuous path of popular justice between these two Revolutions. To understand the specificities of each model, I will compare the practices of the criminal juries and the elected judges, their socio-professional and cultural identities as well as the spread of popular justice ideas in each of the regions under study. Through this investigation, I will show that the participation of the people in the judiciary as defended in 1789 and 1848 still remains a credible alternative to build a fair, equal and effective justice system.

Parceiros Internos
Centro de Investigação Grupo de Investigação Papel no Projeto Data de Início Data de Fim
CIES-Iscte -- Parceiro -- --
Parceiros Externos

Não foram encontrados registos.

Equipa de Projeto
Nome Afiliação Papel no Projeto Data de Início Data de Fim
Emmanuel Berger Professor Auxiliar Convidado (DH); Investigador Integrado (CIES-Iscte); Coordenador Global 2021-07-01 2027-05-31
Financiamentos do Projeto
Código/Referência DOI do Financiamento Tipo de Financiamento Programa de Financiamento Valor Financiado (Global) Valor Financiado (Local) Data de Início Data de Fim
2020.03789.CEECIND/CP1624/CT0001 -- Contrato Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. - CEEC Individual - Portugal Nível 33 TRU Nível 33 TRU 2021-06-01 2027-05-31
Outputs (Publicações)

Não foram encontrados registos.

Dados de Investigação Relacionados

Não foram encontrados registos.

Referências nos Media Relacionadas

Não foram encontrados registos.

Outputs (Outros)

Não foram encontrados registos.

Ficheiros do projeto

Não foram encontrados registos.

A Path towards the Protection of Individual Freedoms. The Expansion of Popular Justice in Europe (1789-1848)
2021-07-01
2027-05-31