1. What methodology does Chambliss use in his study on Vagrancy?
Sociological methodology; he is analysing the relationship between
particular laws and the social settings of the time.
Historical analysis; looks at the events happening at the time.
2. How does Chambliss’ study affect your views on legislative interpretation?
Reluctance of legislators to repeal the old laws, but rather keep them
and see if they will need them again.
We still use the same approach (purposive approach); looking at social
events/problems then creating laws in response to them.
3. What critique could you make of Chambliss’ approach and/or
Analysis is limited as the law is no longer being used and he could have
said how it relates to today.
4. What can we learn from legal/historical sources such as those found on
the Old Bailey website?
Learn how the courts were different in terms of language,
No transparency back then.
You can look at the seriousness of certain crimes then see the social
outlook/problems of the time.
5. What do the selected cases on ‘sodomy’ from the Old Bailey tell us about:
The legal status of homosexuals in 17th and 18th century England?
Need 2 eyewitnesses and proof of penetration and ejaculation.
Social attitudes to homosexuality?
Homosexual society in 17th and 18th century London?
Was still happening, but wasn't accepted.
Legal process and forms of evidence?
A lot of evidence was hearsay or eyewitness evidence.
The relationship between society, morals and legal procedure?
6. Is history a useful methodology through which we can learn or understand
anything about law today? (exam question)
7. Reflect on your other courses at University. What other disciplinary
perspectives and methodologies (psychology, engineering, physics, music
etc.) can use legal sources for their own research questions? What kind of
questions can they ask?