Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice
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Legal Professional Practice

Projects and activities

Upcoming events

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Past events

Time to abandon ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and ‘sure’

The case for a new description of the criminal standard of proof and an explanation of why and how it should be used.

Speakers: Emeritus Professor Adrian Keane, Associate Professor Paul McKeown.

View the presentation slides for this event

The performance of child witnesses with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders

Speaker: Dr Rachel Wilcock BSc (hons) PhD CPsychol CSci AFBPsS FHEA

Dr Wilcock is Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Winchester. The talk is organised by The City Law School’s Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice, Evidence and Proof Forum. It should be of interest to those who work with vulnerable witnesses in the legal system and also to those involved in training legal practitioners in questioning vulnerable witnesses.

View the presentation slides for this event.

Read the related research paper here.

Street Identifications: Reliability and Effect

A lecture by Andrew Roberts, Law, University of Melbourne & Dr Josh Davis, Psychology, University of Greenwich chaired by Professor Adrian Keane.  

The speakers will consider research findings relating to street identifications and subsequent Video Identification Procedures and explore whether it is time to rethink belt and braces paternalism.  

When: Wednesday 15th January 2014, 6pm
Where: Lecture Theatre, Atkin Building, 4 Gray's Inn Place, London WC1R 5DX

Followed by refreshments
~ 2 CPD Points applied for ~  
RSVP at cls-gip-events@city.ac.uk

Watch the event

Lecture, with Replies, on The Inadvertent Bias of the Expert

When: 20 November 2013

Taking place at the City Law School's Gray's Inn campus, this Evidence & Proof Forum event concerned the ground-breaking research into inadvertent bias on the part of expert witnesses deriving from the nature of human cognition. It also explored ways of minimising such bias by not disclosing to experts irrelevant information that can influence their perception and opinion.

Professor Adrian Keane of City Law School introduced the topic in the context of the paradoxes that beset the subject of expert opinion evidence.

The lecture was delivered by Dr Itiel Dror of UCL. Replies were given by Professor Jennifer Temkin of City Law School and Patrick Fields, also of City Law School and a Recorder of the Crown Court.

Colloquium on The Examination and Cross-examination of Young and Vulnerable Witnesses in Criminal and Family Proceedings

When: 20 June 2012

Taking place at The City Law School's Gray's Inn campus, the Evidence and Justice Forum (EJF) Colloquium took time to examine the topic of vulnerable witnesses.

The evening began with very informative addresses delivered by The City Law School's own Professor Adrian Keane and Professor Penny Cooper as well as John Cooper QC (a practising Barrister and an Honorary Visiting Professor at Cardiff University).

The addresses were followed by a lively debate with a number of insightful contributions from the present delegates, which included academics from other institutions, practitioners, and intermediaries. A lot of interesting questions were raised - for example, how can one best obtain reliable evidence from children and other vulnerable witnesses? Should there be specific training for advocates on how to question such witnesses? Should advocates require specific authorisation ('ticketing') before being allowed to take on cases in the youth court?

Ten years of Registered Intermediaries in England and Wales - Penny Cooper

The Examination and Cross-examination of Young and Vulnerable Witnesses: Developments and Challenges - Adrian Keane

Watch the colloquium

Ecocide and the Mock Trial. With Michael Mansfield QC

When: 22nd February 2012

This lecture was delivered as part of the launch of the Evidence and Justice Forum.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and floods show us the extreme and unpredictable power of Mother Nature. These events leave devastation in their wake both human and physical. We can monitor the earth, we can build barriers, and nations can sign climate change agreements but there is little we can do to protect ourselves.

Is it time now to move beyond goodwill? Is it time to invoke the law - an international law on Ecocide, the environmental equivalent of genocide? Is it legally possible?

In September 2011, at London's Supreme Court, a Mock Trial played out as though this crime were already adopted by the UN. Michael Mansfield QC, the prosecuting barrister, and Nick Lickley QC, the defence barrister led the case for and against two fictional CEOs. The trial outcome was not pre-scripted; it was for the jury to declare whether or not the Earth's Right to Life had been violated and if the crime of Ecocide was proven. This trial was one of the first steps in a sustained campaign to raise awareness of these issues and to air them within Government, business and communities.

This lecture continued that momentum. In his lecture, Michael Mansfield gave evidence to support such a law and set out the implications for businesses - regardless of whether they simply provide the funding for activities which impact the environment or are the main protagonists.

(Background: Polly Higgins, barrister and international environmental lawyer proposed to the UN in April 2010 the need for an international law on Ecocide.)