An appeal to the citizens of London against the alledged lawful mode of packing special juries.

London, T.J. Wooler, 1817.

8vo, pp. 32; aside from small tear to foot of final leaf (not affecting text), clean and fresh throughout, in recent russet cloth, with title in gilt on spine.


US $183€187

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An appeal to the citizens of London against the alledged lawful mode of packing special juries.

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First edition of this attack on the practice of packing special juries, especially for libel trials, by the satirist and legal writer Thomas Wooler, drawing many of the arguments employed by Bentham in The elements of the art of packing, a copy of which, according to Bentham’s letters, he had lent Wooler, who was to publish extracts of Bentham’s writings in his periodical The Black Dwarf.

Wooler had earlier that year defended himself against two libel prosecutions, and was struck by the make-up of the jury. In theory, special jurors were required to be from wealthier (and, one hopes, more educated) backgrounds, but it had been the case for years (since at least 1777, when Horne Tooke’s libel trial took place) that they had been substantially composed of tradesmen, who were more prone to seeing the useful stipend as an instruction from the prosecution.

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