Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    An Empire of Conduct: On the Jurisprudence of Criminal Procedure
    Andrews, Thomas James ( 2020)
    Criminal procedure describes the conduct of lawful conduct. This thesis addresses how criminal procedure came to be the preponderant way through which the conduct of law was expressed and represented. A jurisprudential shift in procedure was accompanied by the recruitment of the criminal law into the administration of the British Empire. The argument of the thesis is that this emergence and subsequent transformation is a product of the practical involvement of a series of jurists of criminal law with imperial administration. These jurists include Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Macaulay, Henry Maine, and James Fitzjames Stephen. The thesis follows the jurisprudential writings of these thinkers and their involvements with various styles of imperialism to re-describe their contributions to the development of criminal law in light of this proximity to the government of empire. 'An Empire of Conduct' argues for an increased sensitivity to criminal procedure in thinking about the conduct of empire and the government of lawful conduct. Procedure describes not only how the rules of law apply to those subject to them, but also how those procedures were part of a process to re-organise the holding of office in the administration of law, colonies and government. To this end, the thesis looks at criminal procedure as an example of governmentality, concerned with how styles of conduct, rule and administration were shaped and then in turn shaped the holding of public office. By paying attention to questions of officeholding, it argues that the office of the jurist changes its political valence with respect to procedure: the thesis narrates changes in authorities, autonomies and privileges of office as the ascendency of legislative form, and how hierarchically imposed rules of official and juristic conduct contribute to changes in how law is administered. This thesis contends that criminal procedure is best understood as first inspired and then refined through jurists’ involvement with imperial administration, and simultaneously, as a vector for the development of strategies of government that both facilitated and constrained the emerging British Empire. As a jurisprudence, it accounts for a relationship between procedure as a mode of conduct that standardises the administration of law while providing an idiom for styles of modern government. To this end, the economic structure and material technologies of empire impose themselves in this story: as shipping, commodities, and labour all pose questions that a steadily accreted know-how of procedurally organised criminal law is increasingly marshalled to address.