Some Reflections on the Federal Judicial Role During the War on Drugs

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The role of the judge in criminal proceedings is a multifaceted one that is subject constantly to new demands and challenges. In recent times,for example, judges have been accorded greater responsibility for case management in advance of trial, adaptations to the rules of evidence have enhanced the scope for discretionary decision-making, while legislative developments in the sentencing field have forced a reevaluation of the judge's role in sentencing offenders. In the near future, the judicial role in this jurisdiction will take on a new dimension when the Human Rights Act is implemented. This collection of essays includes contributions on the above themes and beyond, including the issues of plea bargaining, judges in emergency situations, judges and media concerns, victims in the criminal process and magistrates' justice. The collection is comparative and international in scope and includes contributions from leading scholars in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.