Posted by Sarah Lucy Cooper, Birmingham City University
In 2012, Birmingham City University’s School of Law launched a new centre of excellence, the Centre for American Legal Studies (CALS). CALS was launched to celebrate and advance the School of Law’s expertise in the theory and application of American law. The Centre’s members have expertise in a variety of areas including American criminal law and procedure, the death penalty, equal protection and environmental law. In addition, CALS hosts the largest UK to USA student internship programme and the British Journal of American Legal Studies (BJALS), the only peer reviewed journal of its kind in the UK. The BJALS Editorial Board is headed up by President Obama’s first Federal judicial appointee, the Honourable Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., and is currently in its third volume.
In order to celebrate the launch of CALS, bring together the scholarly interests of its members, and further engage with colleagues in the United States, CALS was delighted to strike a relationship with Ashgate Publishing Ltd to develop, under the Series Editorship of Dr. Jon Yorke and Dr. Anne Richardson-Oakes, a multi-volume series entitled Controversies in American Constitutional Law. The volumes, each of which will be led by the Centre’s faculty, will include edited collections on equal protection law, death penalty law and international law and American exceptionalism. The first collection in the series, Controversies in Innocence Cases in America, led by Sarah Lucy Cooper was published in May, 2014. Founders of the American Innocence Movement, Peter J. Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, reviewed the collection and commented that “Anyone who cares about miscarriages of justice and thinks critically about the system as a whole will find this collection to be a provocative, insightful, and valuable resource.” Purchasing information about this title can be found here, and the Editor’s review of the collection can be found here.
Ms. Cooper’s second collection — Controversies in Criminal Evidence — will bring together leading experts on the theory, application and scholarly analysis of evidence law in America, from a variety of legal, scientific, policy and ethical perspectives. The contributors will investigate contemporary questions concerning the issues presented by criminal evidence. The chapters will be placed within a multi-disciplinary perspective to provide cogent observations and recommendations for the effective application and development of criminal evidence law.
The topics to be included are:
- Theory and criminal evidence.
- Basic principles, burdens, presumptions and procedural aspects.
- Perspectives on major federal and state admissibility frameworks such as the Federal Rules of Evidence.
- Expert evidence, including scientific, forensic and medical evidence in criminal cases.
- Circumstantial, character, hearsay and impeachment evidence.
- Integrity issues and criminal evidence.
- Judicial notice, privileges and trial procedure.
- Current legislative and policy reforms in evidence law.
- International perspectives and/or comparative discussions.
Interested contributors may focus upon one of the above topics or submit a different issue to be analysed. Co-authored chapters are welcome. Chapters should be approximately 12,000 words, including footnotes. Footnotes should be Bluebook compliant, but chapters will otherwise accord with the Ashgate house-style. The submission deadline for abstracts (max. 400 words) is December, 12, 2014. After this, a proposal will be formed and forwarded to Ashgate for approval. The provisional deadline for first drafts is August 1, 2015.
If you have any questions or you would like to discuss an alternative topic to the ones identified above, please contact me the Editor at: email@example.com.