Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

At the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the concept of law as the Englishman’s ‘birthright’ replaced older metaphors of ‘inheritance’. Arising in part from the story of Esau and Jacob, the term ‘birthright’ carried a specific theological charge. It enabled Englishmen to claim a spiritual right to specific procedures that defined law’s ‘due course’. In the 1640s and 1650s, these claims developed into calls for the widening of law’s due course. Though they failed to transform legal process at the time, the language of their claims contributed to durable vernacular demands that law should pursue the righteous ends they demanded of it.

Keywords: birthrights, due process, due course of law, criminal procedure, legal rules, legal indeterminacy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.