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Breach of the Peace$
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Pamela R. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781845861490

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845861490.001.0001

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Historical Developments

Historical Developments

(p.10) (p.11) Chapter 2 Historical Developments
Breach of the Peace

Pamela R Ferguson

Edinburgh University Press

The second chapter considers the development of breach of the peace since the time of the institutional writer Baron David Hume, in the mid-19th century. In Hume’s era, a central element of breach of the peace was fighting or quarrelling in public – behaviour falling short of rioting or mobbing, but nonetheless with the potential to cause public disorder, in the sense of causing the general public to be alarmed by the prospect of further violence and unrest. This suggests a relatively narrow focus for the crime. However, the courts greatly expanded its ambit by stressing the need to quell behaviours which were ‘disorderly’ in a broader sense. This chapter describes these developments.

Keywords:   David Hume, Historical development, Public disorder, Mobbing, Rioting

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