The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I have posted a new draft paper on SSRN: The Influence of Immanuel Kant on Evidentiary Approaches in Eighteenth Century Bulgaria. It's very short, just three pages.
An excerpt from the last two paragraphs:
Finally, a study of Bulgarian evidence law in the 18th Century suggests no Kantian influence. According to a treatise on the Bulgarian law of procedure in the Ottoman period, eyewitness testimony taken under oath was the primary form of trial testimony. Relatives of the accused were not permitted to testify. Women could testify, although children were allowed to testify only in cases involving border disputes involving land plots. According to one account, the custom was to bring children to the relevant plot and then painfully pull their hair to ensure that they would remember the borders and be able to testify about them in court. Confessions were considered the best evidence of guilt in criminal cases, even though it was common for confessions to be obtained under torture or threat of violence.
There is no apparent connection between these rules and Immanuel Kant. For all of these reasons, it appears very likely that Kant had no influence on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria.
Well, someone had to do it.