Centre for Legal Research


Just showing posts from February 2014

UWE Sexual and Domestic Violence Bystander Intervention Programme 

Posted by Lauren Rees | 0 comments
Public Health England have commissioned and are funding UWE Bristol to develop a suite of resources to support universities in England to implement an evidence based bystander intervention programme to address sexual coercion and domestic violence in university settings. The team of researchers in law and criminology led by Drs Rachel Fenton and Kieran McCartan, along with Professors Phil Rumney and Jackie Jones and research assistance by Helen Mott, will be conducting a literature review, facilitating a student-led evaluation of the Scottish “Get SAVI” programme, and developing a toolkit for use across England. The toolkit will be available for universities to adapt and make bespoke according to their individual demography.  While data tell us that violence against women is a significant problem in university populations, a mapping exercise conducted by the team at UWE has revealed that very few universities in England currently undertake prevention programmes with their students.  This is in contrast to universities and colleges in the US, who are mandated under a number of laws and funding agreements to implement prevention programmes on their campuses.  There is a growing evidence base for the success of bystander programmes in addressing the conducive cultural and social context for violence against women.  Bystander programmes achieve this by raising awareness, encouraging attitude change, and giving students the tools they need (confidence and mental scripts) to intervene when they witness or become aware of unacceptable behaviour from others.  The team at UWE are being advised by local, national and international stakeholders as they develop the resources and are keen to build on the project in the longer term.

For further information please contact Dr Rachel Fenton, Rachel.fenton@uwe.ac.uk
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New United Nations handbook written by Professor Ed Cape 

Posted by Lauren Rees | 0 comments
The United Nations has just published a new handbook, Early access to legal aid in criminal justice processes: a handbook for policymakers and practitioners. The handbook was commissioned by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Development Programme, and written by Professor Ed Cape. The idea of the Handbook is to provide a practical guide to developing and implementing policies and programmes to ensure that people who are arrested and detained by police have access to lawyers and legal services. This is important because in many countries in the world, suspects in police custody are at risk of torture and ill-treatment, and in many countries a high proportion of people in prison have not been found guilty of any offence. The Handbook aims to help in the implementation of international standards that were established in December 2012 by the UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems. It provides a step-by-step guide to introducing and sustaining criminal legal aid systems, and also includes a training programme for police officers and defence lawyers.
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Inside Police Custody 

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Professor Ed Cape has just published a ground-breaking empirical study of procedural rights of suspects in police detention in four jurisdictions – England and Wales, France, the Netherlands and Scotland. The study – Inside Police Custody – An Empirical Account of Suspects’ Rights in Four Jurisdictions -  focuses on three of the rights set out in the European Union (EU) ‘Roadmap’ for strengthening the procedural rights of suspected and accused persons in criminal proceedings: the right to interpretation and translation; the right to information and the Letter of Rights; and the right of access to a lawyer before and during police interrogation, as well as the right to silence.

In order to examine how these procedural rights operate in practice, researchers conducted fieldwork in eight cities and town across the four jurisdictions, observing the work of lawyers and police officers during the period of police custody. The researchers examined case records, observed the ‘booking-in’ process and lawyer-client consultations, and attended police interrogations of suspects. In addition, they conducted interviews with police officers and lawyers in all four jurisdictions.

As well as producing and analysing the empirical data, the authors make a series of recommendations for legislative, policy and procedural reforms designed to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Directives governing the procedural rights covered by the research. An innovative aspect of the project was the production of a training framework for lawyers and police officers involved in the police detention process for use across the EU, which is also published separately.

The study was carried out by Ed Cape, a member of the UWE Centre for Legal Research, in collaboration with the universities of Maastricht (Netherlands) and Warwick, and the London-based NGO  JUSTICE. Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the Open Society Justice Initiative were also collaborators on the project.

Publication of the study was welcomed by Caroline Morgan, formerly the Procedural Rights Team Leader at the European Commission, who said: ‘Inside Police Custody has been eagerly awaited by those working on legislation and policy in the field of procedural protections for suspects at EU level. This ground-breaking study is the first piece of comparative research to look at what actually happens in the process of police detention and interrogation in different jurisdictions, and to assess the differences in practice. Its findings will make essential reading and inform legislation at both EU and national level’.

Inside Police Custody, and the training framework, are published by the Antwerp-based publishers Intersentia, and may be viewed at http://pub.maastrichtuniversity.nl/453a4343-5107-4422-b914-824e145a197a and http://pub.maastrichtuniversity.nl/495f8bf9-103b-482a-adeb-32e01072e80f, or can be purchased from Intersentia.

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Evidence-Based Policy and Practice: Challenges and Prospects 

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Professor Phil Rumney (Law) and Dr Kieran McCartan (Criminology) have been invited to present a paper entitled: ‘Evidence-Based Policy and Practice: Challenges and Prospects’ at the Consent, Compulsion and Sexual Offenders: The Compulsory “Treatment” of Sex Offenders conference. This event will be taking place at the University of Northumbria School of Law on Wednesday 12 March 2014. The abstract setting out the content of the talk is below:
This paper examines the growing importance of evidence-based policy making and practice in guiding the way in which the criminal justice system, private and third sector respond to the risks posed by sex offenders to the community.  It considers what it means to develop policy and practice on the basis of evidence; what types of evidence should be utilised in order to develop best practice and what should be done when compelling evidence is not available to guide decision-making. The paper will include examples of where evidence-based approaches have improved policy making, and where good practice has been impeded by a failure to consider relevant evidence.  A further matter will also be considered and that is the issue of evaluation. Policy development in this area is often advocated on the basis of public protection. However, sometimes there is little or no evidence as to whether proposals will serve that purpose. This paper will suggest ways in which such gaps in evidence can be addressed in order to inform policy making and guide the development of good practice.
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February Events 

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The Centre for Legal Research is hosting two more events this month:

13th February,Sky-Skating International Law: Is There a Stratosphere?
14:00 - 15:30, 3B050, Frenchay Campus
For full information please see the web page:  http://info.uwe.ac.uk/events/event.aspx?id=15288

19th February, Debate: Free Speech vs Hate Speech
14:30 - 16:00, 2B015, Frenchay Campus
For full information please see the web page: http://info.uwe.ac.uk/events/event.aspx?id=15287

Both of the events are free to attend. Please email CLR@uwe.ac.uk to register

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