Tom Paine Talk - Dr Richard Vogler on Due Process

“We hear every day about the breakdown of human rights and the seemingly unstoppable increase in extra-judicial detention, torture and killings around the world. Even liberal-democratic states, such as the USA and Britain, seem to abandon their commitment to due process of law when it comes to terrorist suspects. However, based on my work on criminal justice reform in Latin America, China and Eastern Europe, I will present a broader and, I hope, considerably more optimistic picture. I want to argue that these well-publicised instances of abuse are not the foreshadowing of a darker future but the remnants of a culture of judicial authoritarianism which is fast disappearing in most jurisdictions in the world, to be replaced by adversarial due process of law. This is a huge cultural change which is being accomplished with little media attention, although the consequences are far-reaching. For example, eighty percent of Latin American states have abandoned inquisitorial models of justice in favour of due process adversariality in the last few years, whereas China in 1997 and Russia in 2001 have both taken decisive steps towards adversariality. Many Eastern European and Eurasian states are following. This is not to say that such change is accomplished easily or without opposition, but it does indicate a more hopeful future. It is also worth remembering that the adversarial due process which is currently sweeping the world, with its salutary and profoundly democratic consequences, has its origins in England and in the writings of men such as Tom Paine.” RV

Richard Vogler: “adversarial due process has its origins in
England and in the writings of Tom Paine”
Westgate Chapel
When? 12.30-2pm
When? Free