Legal trials – including case materials, evidence, courtroom transcripts, and judicial opinions – have for decades provided rich source materials for historians, particularly cultural and legal historians. For instance, important contributions to the rise of the ‘new history’ in the 1980s – such as Natalie Zemon Davis’ The Return of Martin Guerre2 and Carlo Ginzburg’s Ecstasies3 – used ecclesiastical and law court records, either directly or indirectly, to reconstruct the lives of women, the working class and the rural poor, who were traditionally excluded from histories. Historical inquiry and judicial inquiry, however, are two very different things, and historians and judges approach questions of evidence and proof in very different ways.4 The judge regards uncertainty negatively, whereas the historian sees it as an invitation ‘to link the specific case to the context’.5