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Some of the most fundamental attributes of modern Anglo- American criminal procedure for cases of serious crime emerged in England during the eighteenth century: the law of evidence, the adversary system, the privilege against self-incrimination, and the main ground rules for the relationship of judge and jury. In trying to understand the great developments of this period, legal historians have been bedeviled by source problems that to some extent must always remain insoluble. The present article is based primarily upon a pair of novel historical sources: the notebooks of Sir Dudley Ryder, who served as an Old Bailey trial judge in the 1750s; and a series of pamphlet accounts of Old Bailey trials that we verify by comparing them with the Ryder notes.

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