Guest post: Open Letter to Leaders of the Criminal Justice System – Call for a National Protocol

I am delighted to host this guest post by Beheshteh Engineer, a third-six pupil. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of her chambers. Why is a functional Criminal Justice System important during a national crisis? During a short-term national crisis, the CJS must provide two key functions: To deal with…

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Televising sentencing remarks is a gimmick that has not been thought through

As somebody who spends more time than is healthy banging the drum for better public understanding of the justice system, today’s announcement from the Ministry of Justice that sentence hearings in the Crown Court will be televised should be right up my wheelhouse. The proposal sidesteps any worries about a rush to an Americanised celebrification…

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Guest post by Laura Hoyano: Terminology does matter: ‘believe the victim’, investigative mindsets and unlearned lessons from miscarriages of justice

I am delighted to host this guest blogpost by Laura Hoyano, a barrister and Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford.   On 18 December 2014, Detective Superintendent McDonald of the Metropolitan Police (MPS) declared to the media that ‘Nick’ had made “credible and true” allegations of child murder and horrific abuse against a deceased Prime Minister,…

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Guest post by Joanna Hardy: We need to talk about lunchtime

A few years ago, a poster was stuck up in the robing room at Snaresbrook Crown Court. There was to be a charity raffle. The prize? “Win lunch with the Snaresbrook Judges!”. This prompted much mirth. An unimpressed barrister scrawled beneath it “Second Prize: TWO Lunches”. Another quipped that they would rather eat their own…

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A letter to my younger pupil-self

For this month’s Counsel Magazine, I have written a letter to my younger pupil-self, offering some words of advice that I wish I’d been given when starting life at the Criminal Bar. The piece can be read here.

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Ignorant, dishonest or both? Boris Johnson’s ramblings about prisoners and spa breaks are divorced from reality.

As today’s resignation announcement by the Prime Minister prefigures, in bookmakers’ eyes at least, the dawn of a Boris Johnson premiership, I thought it worth typing up a thread I posted earlier this week in response to Mr Johnson’s latest column for the Daily Telegraph. On Monday, the former Foreign Secretary proudly promoted his article…

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Peter Hitchens’ comments about Jo Cox’s killer betray a fundamental ignorance of the basic facts

A familiar sound for readers of the Mail on Sunday is the deafening cymbal-clash of Peter Hitchens colliding with reality. This last Sunday offered a particular highlight, which, although there is undoubted wisdom in leaving him alone to figuratively wander the 21stcentury in his dressing gown shouting at clouds, cannot pass without comment. Summarised by…

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