The Hillsborough judgment: what just happened?

Today, at the Crown Court at Manchester (sitting in a temporary “Nightingale Court” at the Lowry theatre in Salford), the trial of three men accused of offences arising out of the Hillsborough disaster was brought to an abrupt halt, when the judge ruled at the close of the prosecution case that the defendants had “no…

Read more

How can a 5-year prison sentence ever reflect the intentional taking of a life?

Yesterday, at Swansea Crown Court, 70-year-old Anthony Williams was imprisoned for 5 years for the manslaughter of his wife, Ruth. He had on Monday this week been acquitted by a jury of murder, having admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at an earlier stage of proceedings. The standard reporting clichés ring particularly hollow in…

Read more

What happened in the case of Emily Jones?

Today, on the second day of the trial of Eltiona Skana, who was charged with the murder of seven-year-old Emily Jones, the prosecution at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court offered no evidence on the charge of murder, and accepted the Defendant’s guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. There has been much…

Read more

What can be done to appeal an unjust acquittal?

It was reported this morning that Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper, has written to the Prime Minister asking for a retrial of her husband’s killers, who at their trial last week were acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter. There is also a petition, signed by over 200,000 people, seeking a similar…

Read more

Guest post by Jamie Fletcher and Dr Samuel Walker: Sexual violence, the Overton Window and the limits imposed by the law

I am pleased to host this guest post by Jamie Fletcher and Dr Samuel Walker, who are Lecturers in Law at Bournemouth University. ————————————————   Introduction The aim of this post is to discuss the increasing prevalence of consensual sexual violence and its relationship with criminal law. It will be shown that acceptance, engagement and…

Read more

Guest post by Mira Hammad: Covid-19 and the right to protest: an alternative view

I am pleased to host this guest blogpost by Mira Hammad, a pupil barrister at Garden Court North Chambers. It is written in response to the guest blogpost by Rebecca Penfold and Aparna Rao, published last week.   _________________________________ In their blogpost Rebecca Penfold and Aparna Rao look at the amended Coronavirus Regulation 7 and…

Read more

Guest post by Hannah Edwards: The clock is ticking – bail breaches and Covid-19

I am pleased to host this guest post by Hannah Edwards, who is a second-six pupil practising at Drystone Chambers. _____________________________________________ In the chaos that Covid-19 has brought to our criminal justice system it is now, more than ever, important for practitioners to remember the fundamental principles when considering breaches of bail in the magistrates’ court….

Read more