Prison visits

[Image credit: “Into the Prison” by Bill Nicholls is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) During the Covid pandemic, there have been significant limits and halts to prison visits. Once we are out of lockdown, there should be a gradual return to standard visits, so what happens and what are the rules? The Prison Rules, in

Sexual abuse in schools

[Image credit: “File:Wien 01 Beethovenplatz g.jpg” by Gugerell is marked with CC0 1.0.) Ofsted has announced a review into sexual abuse in schools. The review will consider the processes that schools, and colleges have in place regarding whether they are good enough to allow pupils to report abuse freely. Why conduct a review? A website, “Everyone’s Invited”, published anonymised

Non-disclosure and prejudice

[Image credit: “Pickets at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital during the second 4 hour pay strike” by Roger Blackwell is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred several cases to the Court of Appeal, which involved allegations of public order related to trade union activity. They included the case of the actor Ricky Tomlinson who

Bite Mark Evidence – Part Two

[Image credit: “panoramic x-ray of my teeth” by p_x_g is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) “Why Bite Mark Evidence Should Never Be used in Criminal Trials” is a report published by the Innocence Project. They state that at least 26 people have been wrongly arrested, charged or convicted of offences based on bite mark evidence. Concerns in respect of

Bite Mark Evidence – Part One

[Image credit: “panoramic x-ray of my teeth” by p_x_g is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) What is bite mark evidence? A bite mark is a pattern produced by the indentations of the teeth into any substance capable of being marked. It is argued that a bite mark can be thought of as a tool mark and that they are


[Image credit: © Crown Copyright) The government recently announced a range of proposals regarding immigration, but how does this affect criminal law? Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said it was the introduction of the most significant overhaul of the system in decades. The aim appears to be to prevent illegal entry into the UK, especially

Line of Duty – The Acronym

[Image credit: BBC Television.) This week saw the new series of the BBC’s Line of Duty hit our screens, with another battle ahead for the police against serious organised crime. For those new to this drama, the first episode may well have been very confusing. The episode was clouded in layers of acronyms that a

Good character as mitigation

[Image credit: Arms over the entrance to the Crown Court and County Court in St Aldates’, Oxford. Photograph taken 2006-03-25. Copyright © 2006 Kaihsu Tai.) What is good character? As far as the criminal courts are concerned, a person of good character is usually someone without convictions or cautions recorded against them. It is of

Deaf jurors

[Image credit: Arms over the entrance to the Crown Court and County Court in St Aldates’, Oxford. © Kaihsu Tai.) At the moment, profoundly deaf people rarely sit as jurors. There are strict laws that prevent anyone other than the twelve jurors from entering the deliberation room. This means that a sign language interpreter cannot enter the room. The