Warwick Law School News
The latest updates from our department
A 12-year stand-off came to an end this week when a British compromise offer to extend the franchise in very limited circumstances was accepted by the Council of Europe. Why has this issue been so controversial and why has it taken the UK 12 years to finally fall into line? Warwick Law School Professor Jacqueline Hodgson comments:
"For more than a decade, the UK has continued to breach the European Convention on Human Rights by refusing to allow any convicted prisoners the right to vote, directly contravening the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the case of Hirst v UK."
Professor Jackie Hodgson was asked to speak live on BBC Radio 4 last night about the recent events in Catalonia.
Following the Spanish government’s decision to impose direct rule on Catalonia, nine members of Catalonia’s suspended government have been placed in custody, accused of rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds. Their leader, however, Carles Puigdemont failed to appear in court, having fled to Belgium.
A substantial grant has been awarded by the Scottish Government to fund ground-breaking research into the operation of the jury within the Scottish Criminal Justice System.
The team; which will include our own Vanessa Munro, Professor of Law at the University of Warwick and Professors James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick from the University of Glasgow, will work alongside the independent research organisation Ipsos Mori, to explore three distinctive features of the unique Scottish Law System.
This study will provide vital insights into the operation of distinctive aspects of the Scottish Jury. It will involve several hundred members of the public observing trial reconstructions and participating as ‘mock jurors.'
A new edited collection, inspired by research from the Warwick Monash Alliance, considers the impact of and response to cuts in legal aid budgets and access to justice at a transnational level.
'Access to Justice and Legal Aid: Comparative Perspectives on Unmet Legal Need', co-edited by Professor Jacqueline Hodgson (Director of the Criminal Justice Centre, Warwick Law School) and Dr Asher Flynn (Monash), examines different responses to the current legal aid crises across criminal, civil and family law in England and Wales and Australia.
“As common law jurisdictions, England and Wales and Australia share similar ideals, policies and practices, but differ in their legal and political culture and in their approaches to providing access to justice,” explained Dr Flynn.
“The nature of the communities they serve is also different, however, our work highlights how in both regions it can be the most vulnerable groups who lose out in the way that law is now done in the 21st century.”
Building on a fruitful course delivered by Professor Norrie at NLUD (National Law University, Delhi) in 2016; the April workshop, attended by over 50 people, comprised of two days on a diverse and fascinating range of topics offering new and critical dimensions on criminal justice scholarship.
“It was one of the most productive academic engagements on criminal law and critical theory,” remarked Ms Latika Vashist, Assistant Professor at the Indian Law Institute, Delhi.
‘The Preventive Turn in Criminal Law’, a new book by Dr Henrique Carvalho, offers the latest addition to the Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice published by OUP (Oxford University Press).
This new book seeks to understand where the impulse for prevention in criminal law comes from, and why this preventive dimension seems to be expanding in recent times.
The series aims to cover all aspects of criminal law and procedure including criminal evidence and encompassing both practical and theoretical works.
The general idea of a ‘preventive turn’ in criminal law is a modern spate of new criminal offences that criminalise conduct that happens much earlier than the actual harm which they are trying to prevent.
Prof Jackie Hodgson and Asher Flynn from Monash have a new edited collection on 'Access to Justice and Legal Aid: Comparative Perspectives on Unmet Legal Need' published by Hart.
This book considers how access to justice is affected by restrictions to legal aid budgets and increasingly prescriptive service guidelines.
Reviews of Andrew Williams's new book 'A Passing Fury'
" 'The death of one man is a tragedy,' Josef Stalin is said to have mused. 'The deaths of a million is a statistic.' A.T. Williams's prize winning debut, A Very British Killing, was a passionately written investigation into the death of a single man – Baha Mousa, an innocent Iraqi hotel receptionist killed by British soldiers in Basra in 2003. This, his second book, is a study in myriad deaths – the Nazi perpetration of genocide – and a prolonged meditation on Stalin's idea that the human mind cannot comprehend mass murder... His theme is the imperfect efforts made by the Allied military authorities... to bring the criminals responsible for these horrors to justice." (Daily Telegraph)
"This is a fine book that does a great job of debunking one of the most enduring myths in history." (History of War)
"Splendid book... Much more than a historical narrative and assessment… This is a superb book which offers no easy answers but invites the reader to join its author on a grim odyssey." (History Today)
"Earnest, unsettling book... Williams is a thoughtful, lucid writer, with a lawyer’s appetite for detail... A Passing Fury is heartfelt, moving and often powerfully written." (Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times)
"Haunting, sensitive and thoughtful study." (Nigel Jones, Daily Telegraph)
"Williams has put together an original polemic against our assumptions about these trials, including those at Nuremberg. (David Herman, New Statesman)
"... gripping and original ..." (The Catholic Herald)
"... skilfully reveals a chaotic world in which war crimes investigation teams... were left to do their best in extremely trying circumstances." (Scotland on Sunday)
Jackie Hodgson & Laurène Soubise: Understanding the sentencing process in France
Jackie Hodgson and Laurène Soubise have a new forthcoming publication in 45 Crime and Justice (ed. Michael Tonry), Sentencing Policies and Practices in Western Countries:Comparative and Cross-National Perspectives, on 'Understanding the Sentencing Process in France'.
French sentencing is characterized by broad judicial discretion and an ethos of individualized justice that is adapted to the rehabilitation of the offender. The current approach aims to prevent recidivism through rehabilitation and so protect the interests of society as well as reintegrating the offender as reformed citizen. In opposition to this approach is that of the political right, characterized by the recent Sarkozy regime, which favors deterrence through harsher penalties, minimum prison sentences and increased incarceration, including after the sentence has been served in the case of offenders considered dangerous. This article looks at the practice as well as the theory of French sentencing and locates the sentencing process (for it is a process, not a single event) within the broader context of French inquisitorially rooted criminal procedure. It argues that the central part played by the prosecutor in criminal cases (including in case disposition through alternative sanctions), her role in recommending a sentence to the court and the court’s invariable decision to follow this suggestion, together with the unitary mature of the French judicial profession, means that despite the broad discretion afforded the sentencing judge, there is a remarkable degree of consistency in the penalties imposed. It examines the range of penalties available and considers the most recent addition put forward by the Consensus Commission and legislated in 2014, the contrainte pénale, suggesting that this is unlikely to have a great impact without the investment of resources in the probation service and a change in the judicial culture which still favors simple sentencing options, including imprisonment, to the array of alternative options now in place.
Jackie Hodgson presented at the UCLA in January at the conference Prosecutors and Democracy
Jackie Hodgson presented a paper at UCLA in January at the conference ‘Prosecutors and Democracy’ organised by David Slansky and Maximo Langer. My paper was 'Politics, democracy and the nature of the prosecutor as professional in England and Wales and France’. To find out more click here
Jackie Hodgson presented a paper at UCLA in January at the conference Prosecutors and Democracy
Jackie Hodgson presented a paper at UCLA in January at the conference ‘Prosecutors and Democracy’ organised by David Slansky and Maximo Langer. Her paper was 'Politics, democracy and the nature of the prosecutor as professional in England and Wales and France’. To read more click here .
Jackie Hodgson, Senior Expert for the European Union
- Senior Expert working on Impact Assessment on amendments to Directive on provisional Legal Aid (January - May 2016)
Jackie also lends her expertise to a study commissioned by the European Parliament. In response to the proposal by the European Commission for a Directive on Legal Aid, the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs proposed several amendments. The study aims at evaluating those substantive amendments to the Legal Aid proposal. The objective of the impact assessment is to assess the economic costs and benefits of those amendments, but also their social impacts and impacts on fundamental rights. To read on click here