Robert P. Burns


The American jury trial has evolved in a way that is deeply respectful of the dense complexity of competing values that pervade our common life. The consciously structured hybrid of languages and practices of which the trial is composed reflects those values fairly. The trial is thus the crucible of democracy. Simplistic understandings of the trial rooted in a form of legal positivism and an affection for bureaucracy threaten it. We must be very careful of distorting the architecture of what we have achieved in one of greatest achievements of our public culture. This is not to say that reform is impossible, but reform must be approached carefully and with an adequate understanding of what the trial means for us.

Included in

Law Commons