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)