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Past Events

The Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies organises a range of seminars, symposia and conferences for legal and forensic academics and practitioners. Details of our previous events are below. 

This seminar, funded by the Modern Law Review, explored the theoretical underpinning of legal professional privilege (LPP) and its place in and impact on the modern world, engaging various stakeholders, both academics and practitioners, in analysis and discussion of key aspects of LPP.

The rule of law rationale underpins the assertion of LPP by individuals, corporations (from small to large multi-nationals) and Governments. There is clearly a conflict between this rule of law rationale and the effective administration of justice. The assertion of LPP means that legal cases may be heard and decided without the disclosure of relevant probative material. Choosing to resolve this conflict in favour of the rule of law rationale is weakened by argument that it does not accurately reflect client behaviour; that many legal adviser/client communications would take place in full candour regardless of whether the privilege exists. This argument is particularly cogent where corporations are concerned, due their need to comply with myriad legal rules, and in the Government context.

LPP must also be analysed in its human/constitutional rights context. LPP is now recognized as a fundamental human right, long established in common law. It has also been held to be part of the right of privacy guaranteed by Article 8 of The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by the European Court of Human Rights. As well as Article 8 (the right to respect for a private and family life, home and correspondence), Article 6 (the right to a fair and public hearing) may also be engaged in the context of LPP. 

In each of the four sessions, key themes arising from the attributes of and rationale for LPP were discussed.

Session 1: The parameters of and rationale for LPP.

Speakers: Professor Tony Ward, Professor Ed Imwinkelried.

Session 1 - Professor Tony Ward - Video

Session 1 - Professor Ed Imwinkelried - Video

Session 2: LPP as a fundamental human and/or constitutional right.

Speakers: Dr Jorg Sladic, Klentiana Mahmutaj.

Session 2 - Dr Jorg Sladic - Video

Session 2 - Klentiana Mahmutaj - Video

Session 3: The effect of LPP on the administration of justice.

Speakers: William Ralston, Ann Ferguson, Robert Smith QC, Stephen Donnelly.

Session 3 - William Ralston and Ann Ferguson - Video

Session 3 - Robert Smith QC - Video

Session 3 - Stephen Donnelly - Video

Session 4: LPP in the corporate and Government context.

Speakers: Professor Joan Loughrey, Associate Professor Rebecca MItchell, Professor Michael Stockdale.

Session 4 - Professor Joan Loughrey

Session 4 - Rebecca MItchell and Michael Stockdale - Video

NCECJS has moved to online seminars

Rap Music as Evidence

Date: Tuesday 2nd February 2021 

Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Speakers at the seminar will be: 

• Dr Eithne Quinn, Senior Lecturer in American Studies, University of Manchester 

• Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor of Law, LSE 

• Charis E. Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, University of California, Irvine 

• Tony Ward, Professor of Law, Northumbria University. 

Link to recent BBC Report: 

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, International Development in Fitness to Plead 

Date: Wednesday 10 January 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Northumbria Law School, City Campus East, Fourth Floor Harvard Theatre 403 and Corporate Hub


This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, Managing Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession - some causes for concern

Date: Wednesday 17 January 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Northumbria Law School, City Campus East, Second Floor Room 223B


This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, Social Media and Mental Health 

Date: Monday 29 January 2018

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Raeburn Room in Old College, Edinburgh University Law School

This lecture is co-hosted with Edinburgh Law School.




This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, Comparing UK and New Zealand experience with Medical Manslaughter

Date: Wednesday 7 February 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Northumbria Law School, City Campus East, Fourth Floor Room 420 and Corporate Hub


This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, Responsibility attribution: Are we reverting to a bad-character model?

Date: Thursday 15 February 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Northumbria Law School, City Campus East, Fourth Floor Room 409


This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, Therapeutic Jurisprudence: A new approach to law reform 

Date: Tuesday 6 March 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Hogan Lovells Lecture Theatre, Durham University

This lecture is co-hosted with Durham University's Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.





This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

Professor Warren Brookbanks Lecture, The New Zealand Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice - Origins and aims

Date: Wednesday 7 March 2018 

Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Northumbria Law School, City Campus East, Fourth Floor Harvard Theatre 420


This is part of The Leverhulme Trust Lecture Series. To find out more about Professor Brookbank's visiting professorship and Northumbria Law School's award from The Leverhulme Trust click here.


Register here

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The Future of Fitness to Plead in the Criminal Courts

Northumbria University’s Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (CECJS) and New Park Court Chambers will be holding a symposium to discuss the future of fitness to plead on 29th June 2016, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Speakers include:

Professor David Ormerod, Law Commissioner and Professor of Criminal Justice at University College London

Arlie Loughnan, Associate Professor, University of Sydney Law School

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Northumbria University

Alistair MacDonald QC, New Park Court Chambers

Robert Smith QC, New Park Court Chambers

Dr James Stoddart, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Attendance is free and the event will be CPD accredited for solicitors and barristers. To register please contact

The event will be held at Northumbria Law School, CCE1-403 and 4th Floor Corporate Hub Area

Tea, coffee and registration from 4 p.m.

Registration will remain open until 5.30pm for colleagues who have court or other commitments.

Saturday 7th September

Should lie detector evidence be used in courts of law in England and Wales? Can they be 'beat'?

Our courts merely assume that polygraph evidence is inadmissible with little or no analysis, whereas other forms of forensic evidence have been admitted with relatively little scrutiny. Come and see a polygraph demo and learn about its reliability. Presented by Donald Grubin and Michael Stockdale.

Thursday 16th January 2014

In collaboration with the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies, Northumbria University and University of Sunderland guests were invited to an evening symposium to discuss diversion, liaison, and the effective management of mental health issues within the Criminal Justice system in the North East. Speakers included This Honour Judge Goss QC, Charlotte Winter (Manager, the Big Diversion Project, NHS), and professionals within local mental health services and the criminal law.

Wednesday 5th March 2014

It will be delivered by Professor Elizabeth Stokoe (Professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University). She researches interaction in everyday and institutional settings, including police-suspect investigative interviews, initial inquiries to community and family mediation services, dating, and classroom interaction. She has developed an approach to communication training, The Conversation Analytic Role-play Method (CARM), which provides an empirically-grounded alternative to simulation and role-play. She has also conducted comparative analysis of role-played and actual interaction, and challenged the stasis of role-play as a training and assessment methodology. CARM won a Loughborough University Enterprise Award (2013) and Stokoe's research and biography featured recently on BBC Radio 4's 'Life Scientific'.

In this talk, she will present findings from analyses of police investigative interviews with suspects, including actual and training interviews, and show how conversation analytic research may better underpin the training of police officers. She will explain the development of The Conversation Analytic Role-play Method and its impact in different organizations and workplace sectors.

Wednesday 12th March 2014

The seminar will be delivered by Professor Mike McConville, a socio-legal scholar who has a world renowned reputation  for his empirical research in the Criminal Justice field relating to individual rights.

Lydia Bleasdale-Hill (University of Leeds) Jill Dickinson (Sheffield Hallam University)

This paper summarises the potted, historical development of the legislation concerning dangerous dogs and analyses the rationale behind it, focusing in particular on the apparent desire of successive governments to 'responsibilise' dog owners and to protect the public. The paper then focuses on two aspects of the legislation to date - the extension of the area within which an owner can be liable for the behaviour of their dog and the continued retention of type-specific definitions of which dogs are to be considered to be 'dangerous' - arguing that neither of the aforementioned government aims can be conclusively said to be met by these aspects of the legislation. The paper concludes by suggesting the approach taken towards the regulation of dogs and their owners is in need of change, with a greater appreciation of the different types of owners (and their motivations) being required in order to shift the emphasis of the law from 'cure' to 'prevention'.

About the authors:
Lydia Bleasdale-Hill is a lecturer in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Leeds and is also the School's Deputy Director of Student Education. Her research has previously focused on clinical legal education, having been the Director of the School's Legal Advice Clinic, but more recently she has started to focus on substantive criminal law. Her interest in the area which is the focus of this paper was generated by discussions with Jill at the Society of Legal Scholars conference in 2013, following which she and Jill agreed to work on a paper for the 2014 conference. Today's paper is an extension of the 2014 SLS paper, having been developed in light of the feedback gained there.

Jill Dickinson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Law & Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University. Following 10 years' spent working as a solicitor in private practice, Jill moved into academia where she primarily teaches both land and tort law. She has since completed an LLM in occupiers' rights and liabilities and her recent paper for the Journal of Personal Injury Law focused on burglar battering and the need to check-in with the civil courts.

For further information contact: or

Wednesday 24th April at 5-7pm

City Campus East, Northumbria University

The seminar will give an overview of the current digital forensic investigative practices on the numerous digital devices (PC?s, laptops and mobile devices) that are available and discuss what relevant evidential data is identifiable and recoverable from these devices but also to debunk some of the myths around evidential recovery from these digital devices.

Philip Anderson is the Undergraduate Programme Leader for BSc. (Hons) Computer Forensics for approximately 80 students at Northumbria University. He has over 7 years extensive teaching experience involving taught computer and digital forensic modules and also, has successfully worked in the field, on a number of different forensic examinations of digital media for external clients, involving examination, analysis and production of extensive reports.

Graeme Horsman is a EnCase Certified Examiner and Certified Computer Examiner with a BSc degree in Computer Forensics and is a currently in the final year of his a PhD at Northumbria University. His research focuses on digital forensic triage techniques. He has worked in industry carrying out investigations for a number of police forces across the UK.

Wednesday 19th February 2014

The seminar will be delivered by Professor T J Wilson, FFSSoc.

Tim joined the School of Law in September 2012 where he is Professor of Criminal Justice Policy. His academic interests are the governance of forensic bioinformation, the role and organisation of the forensic sciences and medicine in criminal investigations and trials, transnational offending, and the allocation of resources and increasing marketisation within the criminal justice system. His work is concerned with the interface of law, ethics, economics and politics.

Wednesday 30th October from 17:00-19:00 in CCE1-403

Andrew Postlethwaite, Director of Virtual Constructions Ltd, gave a brief background to the origins of forensic reconstructions, followed by explanations of the various types of reconstructions, supported by actual case examples. He concluded by explaining how these reconstructions have been received in court, and the types of challenges encountered.

Andrew comes from an Architectural background, creating buildings for clients in a virtual form, enabling them to appreciate the design before it was built.

Whilst working in the property services department, of the Metropolitan Police, he was approached to reconstruct a lost crime scene for a cold case.

Following on from this I reconstructed Broadwater Farm for the PC Blakelok inquiry and part of Wimbledon Common for the Rachael Nickel inquiry.

In 1994 he was the first person in the UK to take a computer reconstruction into court, at the Old Bailey.

In 1996 he setup Virtual Reconstructions Ltd, and has been involved in over 500 cases, including Dunblane Primary School, Death of Wesley Neailey, the Tony Martin Shooting and Deepcut Barracks.

He is currently due to give evidence to the Mark Duggan inquest.

Saturday 12th October

Corporate Hub, City Campus East, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

An international one-day conference, entitled 'Mental Disorder and Criminal Justice', will take place at the University of Northumbria in the Corporate Hub and Harvard Lecture Theatres (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK) on the 12th October 2013. The event will examine the interface of scientific and legal conceptions of mental disorder and the role and function of the criminal justice system in responding to this distinct category of defendants. With the Law Commission currently considering the Insanity and Automatism defences, the conference brings together leading national and international experts in the field to discuss these important medico-legal constructs. The ambit of the conference is deliberately broader than that of the Law Commission in order to enable a holistic consideration of mental disorder and criminal justice. The event will include contributions from world leading speakers from academia, the judiciary, the Law Commission, the legal profession (including the Crown Prosecution Service), the Royal College of Psychiatrists and experts in the cognitive sciences. Co-ordinators: Nicola Wake (Northumbria University) and Ben Livings (University of Sunderland). For further information please see the conference website.

Wednesday 25th September from 19:00-21:00

Sexsomnia, a condition that results in a person engaging in sexual behaviours while asleep, was identified as a medical phenomenon in 2003.  Two years later it was successfully deployed as a defence in the English rape case R. v Bilton, and there has been a marked increase in such defences ever since.  Sleep experts are asked during such cases to offer an opinion on whether they consider the suspect to have sexsomnia, and to assess the likelihood of whether intercourse did take place while the suspect was unconscious.  While it is not the expert's responsibility to discern whether a sexsomniac episode was triggered by an "internal" (arising from some ongoing or sporadic disturbance from within the individual's body or psyche) or "external" (intoxication via drugs or alcohol for instance) cause, experts often find ways to get their opinions across.

Testing for whether a sexsomniac episode was the result of intoxication (or was in fact a forgotten sexual act the result of alcoholic blackout) has become a contentious and controversial question in sleep expertise and has played out both in the courtrooms of the General Medical Council as well as in the trial of Zach Thompson.  In this paper I will discuss the controversy surrounding alcohol provocation and the effects that this is having with regards the personnel involved in English rape trials where sleep is used as a defence.

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has secured funding from the Modern Law Review (MLR) to host an international seminar on one of the most controversial areas of legal debate.

It is the second time Northumbria Law School has had such an application accepted, confirming its reputation as a leading centre for research.

The 5,000 from the MLR funded a seminar entitled `Consent, Compulsion and Sexual Offenders: The Compulsory "Treatment" of Sex Offenders'. The event was held at Northumbria University on March 12, and brought together leading national and international academics and practitioners to facilitate scholarly dialogue on this topical and challenging area.

Guest speakers included Professor Kieran Mccarton, University of the West of England, Dr Bernadette Rainey, Cardiff Law School, Dr Chris Ince, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr Karen Harrison, University of Hull, Professor Don Grubin, Newcastle University, Stephen Hanvey, Chief Executive of Circles UK and Ann Creaby-Attwood from Northumbria University.

There was also a key presentation by Consultant Forensic Psychologist and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor Dr Astrid Birgden, from Deakin University Australia, who has written extensively on the rights, rehabilitation and treatment of sex offenders.

Among the themes discussed were the potential use of medical treatment, including chemical castration to reduce sexual reoffending, a topic recently considered by the Ministry of Justice

The successful funding application was made by Chris Ashford, Professor of Law and Society at Northumbria, and Nicola Wake, Senior Lecturer in law at Northumbria. The event will be hosted jointly by Northumbria University's Centre for Evidence and the Law School's Criminal Justice Studies, and the Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Interest Group.

Professor Ashford commented: "We are delighted to bring together world-leading thinkers on consent and sexuality together with 'frontline' organisations such as Circles UK which seek to reduce sex offending.  The event is typical of our approach of combining world-leading and innovative theoretical work, inter-disciplinary thinking, empirical research and applying it to the real world."

Nicola said: "This is a hugely important and controversial topic which draws on inter-disciplinary expertise from across law, psychology, medicine and other relevant sectors. Our event provided a forum to share the latest research and to help shape and inform future policy.

"We are delighted to have secured funding from the MLR for a second time. It shows we are recognised internationally as a professional and modern university which can attract the best researchers and academics."

As well as publishing the law journal, the MLR promotes legal education and research through the organisation and funding of lectures, seminars and other scholarly activities at the highest level. 

Procedural versus processual competence: The relationship between 'competent cop' and justice

Christopher Markham, Leeds Law School, Leeds Metropolitan University 

A Lecturer at Leeds Law School, Leeds Metropolitan University, Chris teaches Human Rights and Public Law. Formerly a police officer, he also delivers on the Policing module at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at the School of Law, University of Leeds. 

His paper is based on data generated from on-going empirical research with two police forces in England, which forms part of his doctoral study. The research is exploring the application and authorisation procedures for search warrants, from the perspective of those who apply for, and those who authorise, them. The paper premises that the nature of police ?situated learning? focuses on procedural and not processual competence. The paper develops an argument that the desire for the ?right? outcome for policing comes at the cost of due process; that the ?competent practitioner?, as defined by assessment of instrumental knowledge, may not necessarily be the best means of securing justice.

Date: Thursday 15th January 2015
Time: 5pm
Venue: Room 403, 4th floor, Business and Law Building, City Campus East, Northumbria University 

Details: The seminar will be held by Northumbria Law School's Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (CECJS) and will discuss the CECJS response to the Law Commission's Scoping Paper on reform of the law relating to Offences against the Person. The scoping paper can be accessed in full via this link

To book a place contact

Wednesday 19th March 2014 from 17.00-19.00, Sutherland Building 205-206 (City Campus West), Northumbria University (Regular attendees please note this is not our usual venue)

The seminar  will be delivered by Professor Peter Alldridge.  Peter is Drapers' Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London and the author of Relocating Criminal Law (2000) and Money Laundering Law (2003). He was Specialist Adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Committees on the Draft Corruption Bill 2003 and Draft Bribery Bill 2009 (which became the Bribery Act 2010). He gave oral evidence to the HL EU Committee Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism in 2008.

If you would like to attend please email

Date: 21st November 2014

The Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (CECJS) and Centre for Offenders and Offending (COO) hosted “The future of policing in England and Wales” - Driving Policing Forward Seminar with Chris Gregg, QPM Axiom International.

Sessions at the seminar included:

  • Future of modern policing
  • Workforce Diversity: Developments, Resistances and Future Directions
  • Ethics & Governance
  • Foreign National Criminality
  • Forensic Science as a business in the context of intelligence led policing and in an age of fiscal austerity
  • Panel: Critical stakeholders together and apart: Chair Dr Connor O’Reilly (Research Fellow in Transnational Policing and Security, Durham University), John Apter (Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation); ‘ACPO Member (name to be announced);

Wednesday 11th December 2013 at 6pm - 8pm

'The legal test for fitness to plead needs to be reformed so that it is fair and suitable for the criminal justice system of the 21st century' says the Law Commission. Having published a Consultation Paper on 27 October 2010, provisional proposals were recommended considering comprehensive reform of the law on unfitness to plead in England and Wales. Receiving over 50 responses, the Commission have published an analysis document and are now preparing final recommendations for reform.

The Law Commission's project draws on relevant empirical evidence and comparative jurisdictions in an attempt to identify better and more up-to-date legal tests and rules for determining fitness to plead, and the subsequent procedure for the examination of the facts.

The Law Commission advises that they anticipate their next publication on this project will be a report towards the end of 2014.

This event will seek to consider such questions as:

  • How do special measures relate to the test of unfitness?
  • Should the procedure in the Magistrates? Courts mirror that in the Crown Court?
  • What should the process for dealing with a defendant be when he or she has been found unfit to plead?

Guest speakers include: The Recorder of Newcastle- His Honour Judge Goss QC, Dr Christopher Ince - Lead Consultant Adult Forensic Services, Northgate Hospital and Miranda Bevan - Law Commission Lawyer, lead on the fitness to plead project.

This event compliments a seminar hosted by the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Northumbria earlier in the year, examining the Law Commission?s Scoping Paper on ?Insanity and Automatism?. The seminar proceedings led to a joint authored response to the Law Commission and a two part article in the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly which fed into the Law Commission's recent Discussion Paper on the topic.

The Legal Services Act 2007 will permit lawyers to work with other professionals in Alternative Business Structures.The purpose of this seminar was to consider the extent to which the adoption of an Alternative Business Structure may result in a loss of legal professional privilege where legal adviser/client communications are disclosed to professionals within an Alternative Business Structure who are not lawyers.

This appears to be an issue to which the Legal Services Board has currently given little consideration (though s.190 of the Legal Service Act does make express provision re legal professional privilege where the individual is an "authorised person" or where it is made by a "licensed body" and is made through or under the supervision of a "relevant lawyer") and I have arranged to communicate the papers that we prepare for this session plus the results of our deliberations to Crispin Passmore, Director of Strategy and Research at the Legal Services Board.

Wednesday February 22nd 2012 17.00-19.00

A consideration of the relationship between section 76 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 2003 and the hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. (J Clough and M Stockdale). 

Thursday 29 November 2012 at 5 - 7pm (2 hours CPD)

Trojan botnets, web-injects and mules

Law, Investigation and Case Management

Venue: Room 403, Law & Business Building, City Campus East, Northumbria University

Fraud involving malware ('malicious software') costs banks, their insurers and customers millions of pounds.

The use of compromised data in the wrong hands creates the prospect of consumer crises of confidence in (a) on-line banking; (b) on-line payment methods and (c) storage of confidential personal data by institutions.

The police team that has responsibility for investigating allegations of ?computer intrusion, distribution of malicious code, denial of service attacks and internet-enabled fraud? is the Police Central e-Crimes Unit. They will continue to be busy.

The aim of the lecture was to give an insight into:

(i) The cybersecurity threat;

(ii) Types of cyberfraud activity;

(iii) The current legal framework;

(iv) Case Management;

(v) A brief summary of the international dimensions.

Robert Newcombe

Counsel at Dere Street Barristers, specialising in serious crime, with experience of cyberfraud cases perpetrated against banks and Government institutions involving Trojan botnets, data theft, phishing and money laundering. Robert is a graduate of Northumbria University, Law Faculty.

Tom Fairfax

Managing Director of Security Risk Management Ltd and until recently head of Operations for LIAG (V) - Land Information Assurance Group (Volunteers), the British Army's cyber warfare unit. Tom has over 20 years? experience in the information security and cyber domain working across a range of public and private sector clients. Tom is also a graduate of Northumbria University, Business School.

Wednesday 13th February at 5-7pm

Anthony Forde, Leeds Law School, Leeds Metropolitan University

A Senior Lecturer at Leeds Law School, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, England, he teaches UK Criminal Law and Evidence as well as the Analysis of Evidence in Crime Investigation to undergraduates, professional investigators and lawyers in Policing, Forensics, Law and Criminology. He has professional experience as a Police Investigator, Forensic Specialist and Lawyer. Anthony has worked as a consultant with the Institute of International Criminal Investigations in The Hague since 2005, advising agencies such as the International Criminal Court, The Office for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The United Nations and War Crime Units in Bosnia, Serbia, Rwanda and Uganda on international investigative interviewing practice and evidence analysis in War Crimes and Human rights Investigations.

Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings - Wednesday October 26th 2011

A consideration of the Law Commission's recent reform proposals. (M Stockdale and N Wortley).

Tuesday 12th March at 5 - 7pm

Room 423,  City Campus East, Northumbria University (the floor 4 boardroom)

The Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies invites its members to a seminar intended to seek practitioner and academic views about the current state of and potential reforms needed to maintain and improve the quality of scientific and medical expert evidence.

The purpose and agenda is to seek members? views on the following questions:

a) The extent to which the closure of the FSS has had an adverse impact, if at all, on criminal investigations and trials within our region and, if so, what are the risks or problems faced by the criminal justice system?
b) Whether the members agree with the view that the problems of scientific expert evidence go wider than traditional forensic science (for example, into the field of medico-legal evidence) and criminal cases?
c) Whether the recommendations contained in the Law Commission?s report on expert evidence in Criminal trials may be of value in addressing any significant risks/problems within the legal system arising in respect of expert scientific and clinical evidence?

The seminar will be used to inform the deliberations of the Independent Police Commission chaired by Lord Stephens.

The meeting will be structured so that the greater part of the time will be spent in discussion to the following agenda:

1. Introduction to the event and background briefing by Professor Tim Wilson, FFSSoc, Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at Northumbria Law School and chair of this event

2. Discussion on Question a) will be led by one of the country?s most senior forensic scientists (most recently she led the forensic investigation that resulted in the successful convictions for the murder of Stephen Lawrence):  Dr Angela Gallop,  Visiting Professor, Northumbria University and Chief Executive of Axiom International Ltd

3. Discussion on Question b) will be led by two senior Home Office Registered Forensic Pathologists (both have worked extensively with the Home Office, ACPO and the NPIA in improving professional standards and organisation for their medico-legal discipline): Dr Bill Lawler, Newcastle forensic pathology practice, and Dr Stephen Leadbeatter, Cardiff University School of Medicine

4. Discussion on Question c) will be led by Dr Michael Stockdale, Director of the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies

5. Conclusions, future actions and thanks: Professor Tim Wilson

The CECJS submitted evidence in January to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology in response to its current inquiry into the closure of the FSS and the forensic sciences. More information about this inquiry and previous inquiries by the Select Committee can be found at its web pages at  

For members with legal journal access, further background to this meeting has been published recently by two members of the CECJS: see Tim J Wilson and Angela M C Gallop,? Criminal Justice, Science and the Marketplace: The Closure of the Forensic Science Service in Perspective?, (2013) 77 JCL 56.

Wednesday 10th October 2012 at 5 - 7pm

The seminar concerned the insanity defence and discussed the Law Commission's recent scoping paper on Insanity and Automatism. The deadline for responding to the paper is 18th October and we plan to submit a response on behalf of the Centre.

Wednesday March 28th 2012 17.00-19.00

"Privilege and in-house lawyers".  

A consideration of the ambit of legal professional privilege in domestic and EU law in the context of the in-house lawyer. (R Mitchell and M Stockdale).

Tuesday June 12th 2012

Implications of the Scottish Fingerprint Report and R v Smith for the Criminal Justice System.

Wednesday February 1st 2012 17.00-19.00

The intention is to hold a one day seminar in this area later in the year which we hope that the Forensic Regulator will attend as part of his consultation process and holding a shorter session now should both help to inform participants of some of the issues that have arisen in consequence both of the Scottish Fingerprint Report and the decision of the Court of Appeal in R v Smith and help us to develop our ideas re the format and content of the subsequent event.

Friday May 4th 2012

"The Reform of the law relating to governance of genetic policing in England and Wales".

A one day symposium held on the 4th May 2012 to consider the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in relation to the governance of biometric material and related issues, with papers given by;

  • Professor Angela Gallop, Chief Executive Axion International and leading forensic scientist (Keynote)
  • Stephen Cragg, Doughty Street Chambers, Lead Counsel in S and Marper v the United Kingdom
  • Christopher Hughes OBE, Chair of the National DNA Database Ethics Board
  • Gary Linton, retired Detective Chief Superintendent and former head of ACPO Criminal Records Office
  • Dr Mick Carling, National Police Improvement Agency lead for implementation of Protection of Freedoms requirements
  • Professor Paul Roberts (Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence, Nottingham University) and Tim Wilson (Northumbria University, former head of the Home Office Forensic Science and Pathology Unit)
  • Adam Jackson, Deputy Director of the Centre

Wednesday November 23rd 2011 17.00-19.00

A consideration of the ambit of the hearsay exception created by section 114(1)(d) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and its relationship with section 116 of the same Act. (E Piasecki and M Stockdale).

Date: Thursday 30th April
Time: 5pm
Venue: Room 403 (the Corporate Hub and Harvard lecture theatre), 4th floor, Business and Law Building, City Campus East, Northumbria University


In this seminar Carolyne Willow will discuss the findings from her latest book. Based on wide-ranging research and first-person interviews, this passionately argued book presents the shocking truth about the lives and deaths of children in custody. Drawing on human rights legislation and progress in the care and treatment of vulnerable children elsewhere, it outlines the harsh realities of penal child custody including hunger, denial of fresh air, cramped and dirty cells, strip-searching, segregation, the authorised infliction of severe pain, uncivilised conditions for suicidal children and ever-present violence and intimidation. The issues are explored through the lens of protection, not punishment, and Carolyne consistently argues that there can be only one conclusion: child prisons must close. Providing a compelling manifesto for urgent and radical change, this seminar will be of interest to everyone who cares about child protection and human rights.

Biographical details:

Carolyne Willow is a children’s rights campaigner and writer. She started her career as a child protection social worker at Nottinghamshire county council and has spent the past 25 years campaigning for children's rights. Between 2000 and 2012, she was head of the Children's Rights Alliance for England, during which time she led the charity's successful fight for transparency in restraint techniques in G4S and Serco secure training centres and initiated legal action to try and force the government to notify former child prisoners that they were unlawfully restrained. As a member of the advisory panel on the 2005 Carlile Inquiry into the treatment of children in custody, she was deeply shocked and unsettled by what children told her Carolyne has also previously worked as an adviser to A National Voice; as head of the children’s participation programme at the National Children’s Bureau (NCB); residential care programme development manager at the NCB; children’s rights officer at Leicestershire County Council; and lectured in social policy and social work at Nottingham Trent University. She has served as a member of the advocacy committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; and was vice-chair of the Council of Europe’s advisory group on child and youth participation. Carolyne grew up in South Shields.

On Wednesday November 4th Professor Peter Joy from the USA led a seminar comparing the US and UK criminal appeal mechanisms.

On Wednesday November 18th Geoff Mason (Senior Crown Prosecutor), Natalie Wortley (Practising Barrister and member of our staff) and Michael Stockdale led a seminar on confiscation orders. Like the successful Fraud Act seminar that we ran a couple of years ago, the seminar was based around discussion of a number of scenarios which raised interesting issues and problem areas.

On Wednesday March 18th we held a seminar from 17.00 to 19.00 which primarily concerned the operation of the rule in Hollington v Hewthorn in the context of winding up proceedings and directors disqualification proceedings but also considered the extent to which the rule remains applicable in civil proceedings generally and the extent to which it has been abolished in the criminal context by the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

On Wednesday December 2nd there was an additional seminar to enable the Centre to respond to consultation on the draft Code for Crown Prosecutors. The second hour of the seminar dealt with Restraining Orders.

The first seminar to be organised in the academic year 2008-09 by the Centre for Criminal and Civil Evidence and Procedure at the School of Law, Northumbria University, took place from 5.00-7.00 on Thursday October 9th, The seminar concerned the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008 and the case law that catalysed its enactment.

The first seminar of the Centre was held at 5.00pm on 22nd March 2007 in Boardroom 1, Ellison Building, Northumbria University. Entry was by invitation only. The seminar was led by Kevin Kerrigan and John Horne. Kevin is a solicitor and principal lecturer in law whose main research interests lie in the field of criminal litigation and human rights. John Horne is a solicitor and senior lecturer in law. He is a part time president of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and editor of the Journal of Mental Health Law.

The seminar was entitled Dangerous Offenders and Risk Assessment and looked at the evidential and procedural issues that arise when dealing with offenders who have committed specified violent or sexual offences under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It focused in particular on the assessment of the level of risk posed by offenders to the public when mental health problems are thought to contribute to offending behaviour. The session ran for approximately one and half hours and refreshments were supplied.

The format of the seminar was a discussion surrounding a fictional criminal case: R v Leeming. The participants discussed the legal, procedural, evidential, clinical and ethical issues arising out of the case.

The R v Leeming case study can be accessed by clicking the link on the right of this page.

You will also find links to other relevant material including extracts from the relevant legislation and three significant Court of Appeal judgments. Additional material will be added to this page as appropriate.

If you have any queries regarding the case study or the other material please contact

Date: 10th July 2015

Justin Ellis from the University of Sydney and Sydney Institute of Criminology delivered a lunchtime seminar for the Centre of Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies. The seminar was entitled, Dealing with the digital: police legitimacy in the age of social media, and was part of a Higher Education and Innovation Funded project organised by Nicola Wake.

Ellis states, 'As the police move further into areas of traditional journalistic practice, the ‘unhappy marriage’ between the police and the media becomes more complex. As the police continue to build their independent public relations capacity, the role of the mainstream media is increasingly contested, while at the same time the ‘sousveilling’ public present challenges to both ‘primary definers’, such as the police, and ‘secondary definers’ such as the mainstream media. To what extent do these three groups, that collectively construct our understanding of police legitimacy, need each other in an age where everyone is a ‘producer’, and increasingly the ‘distributor’ of their own ‘content’? The alleged excessive police force at the 2013 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be used as a case study to explore this symbiotic, and increasingly dynamic, relationship.'

Justin Ellis is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, with a background in legal affairs journalism and human rights advocacy. Between 2009-2012, Justin produced and presented legal affairs and social justice program Radio Atticus on Sydney independent radio station 2SER 107.3FM. In 2007, Justin worked with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission writing a report into the freedom of assembly and association of sexual minorities in Indonesia, which was used as the basis for the successful adoption of a dedicated national human rights framework for sexual minorities there. Justin gained a keen insight into legal frameworks in Asia while living for close to a decade in Japan, where he worked as a journalist on various regional publications writing on transgender and gay and lesbian rights, including as a contributing editor to the award-winning anthropology quarterly, Kyoto Journal. Justin has most recently contributed to Policing and Society. Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish language, and a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Sydney.

Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (CECJS) invites you to our next seminar "Evidence and the Feminist Judge".

The speaker will be Professor Heather Douglas - please find further information on our latest newsletter here.

Date: Wednesday 17th February 2016 from 17:00 - 19:00

The event will be held in CCE1 on 4th floor Corporate Hub and 403 lecture theatre.

To confirm your attendance please contact:

17th February 2016

Heather Douglas is Professor of Law at the T.C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland, Australia.

One of the enduring problems with the legal process identified by feminist legal scholars is the way women’s evidence of sexual violence is excluded, marginalised and disbelieved. Myths and stereotypes have developed around ‘real rape’. Legal rules were developed, initially by judges, which reflected and sustained these myths and stereotypes. In this context, Christine Boyle speculated in a 1985 article on what difference a feminist judge might be able to make in a sexual assault case. Interviews conducted as part of the Australian Feminist Judgments project provide an opportunity to further explore the question of what difference a feminist judge might be able to make in a sexual assault (or domestic violence) case. 41 judges agreed to be interviewed on the basis of their identification as feminists. Many discussed the challenges they face in cases involving sexual and domestic violence and how they have responded to these challenges. The paper considers how they  approach their role in relation to the victim’s evidence in sexual and domestic violence cases, and the range of possibilities that exist at different levels of the court hierarchy. Such possibilities include different approaches to their role in hearing and assessing victims’ evidence, in managing the courtroom and controlling the admissibility of evidence and cross-examination. They report different approaches to language and try to craft particular messages in sentencing. 

On the 11th September 2015 the Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (CECJS) held an event entitled “Expert Evidence in the Criminal Justice System: Achieving Best Practice” in the Parliament Chamber of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Inns of Court, London. The event formed part of a wider CECJS project around reform of expert opinion evidence in criminal proceedings including an earlier event with local (North East) criminal practitioners and experts. The purpose of the event was to consider whether changes to Rule 19 of the Criminal Procedure Rules and the associated Criminal Practice Direction had created a training need for legal practitioners and experts which could be used to achieve best practice in this area.

The event was supported by a steering group which included;

  • Professor David Ormerod (Criminal Law Commissioner, Chair of the Advocacy Training Council Working Group on Expert Evidence and Professor of Criminal Justice, Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Professor Paul Roberts (Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence, the University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Angela Gallop (Chief Executive and Forensic Science Director, Axiom International Ltd.)
  • Gary Pugh OBE (Director of Forensic Services, Metropolitan Police)
  • Karen Squibb-Williams (Head of Acorn Chambers and former CPS National Lead on Forensic Science)

In addition to the above named members of the steering group and Northumbria University colleagues the event was well attended by around 40 legal and expert practitioners along with senior personal from key organisations including; 

  • The Bar Council of England and Wales 
  • The Inns of Court 
  • The Criminal Bar Association  
  • The Crown Prosecution Service
  • The Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • The Office of the Forensic Science Regulator 
  • Keith Borer Consultants
  • LGC Forensics
  • Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions
  • The Universities of Hull and Kent

The day was structured around a series of short presentations followed by longer “round table” discussions involving all attendees. The round table discussions drew upon the wide variety of professional knowledge and experience of the participants and identified a number of important issues, difficulties and thought provoking potential solutions. The next stage of the project is to circulate an event summary amongst attendees for comment and to develop a community of practice around the training of legal practitioners and experts involved in the delivery and use of expert evidence in criminal proceedings to build on the momentum generated by the event.


The event was organised and hosted by Adam Jackson, Emma Piasecki and Gemma Davies with assistance from Dr Michael Stockdale, Director of the CECJS and Claire Anderson (Barrister, New Park Court Chambers, Newcastle) who acted as a research assistant on the project.

Senthorun Raj, from the University of Sydney, will be presenting the next seminar (abstract and bio attached) for the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies, and the Gender, Sexuality and the Law group. The seminar is the second of three events organised between Northumbria University and the University of Sydney, and is supported through the Higher Education and Innovation fund (further details of the next event will be circulated in due course).

The seminar will take place from 12.30 to 1.30 on 12th August 2015 in the Corporate Harvard lecture theatre. Refreshments will be available from 12-12.30 in the Corporate Hub for those attending.

This event is open to external guests so please forward the details to anyone that might be interested in attending.

To reserve your place, please e-mail Katharine Parker

Best wishes,

Nicola Wake

Senior Lecturer in Law
MLaw Year One Director
Criminal Justice Section Convenor-Society of Legal Scholars

The papers delivered included:

Law Commission Proposals and Consultation Professor Jeremy Horder, Oxford University, Law Commissioner (Chair, Professor Tim Wilson, School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Discussant,  Professor Paul Roberts, Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence, University of Nottingham);

The Daubert Test Eileen Scallen, Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law, Minnesota, USA (Chair, Professor Rhona Smith, Northumbria Law School, Discussant: Dr Tony Ward, Reader, University of Hull, Law School);

Polygraph Evidence Professor Don Grubin, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Newcastle University; Dr Michael Stockdale, Director of Centre for Criminal and Civil Evidence and Procedure, Northumbria Law School (Chair,  Professor Paul Roberts, Professor of Criminal Jurisprudence, University of Nottingham, Discussant, Andrew Balmer, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield)

Forensic Facial Comparison Professor Martin Evison, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Dr Tony Ward, Reader, University of Hull, Law School (Chair, Kevin Kerrigan, Associate Dean, Northumbria Law School, Discussant, Kevin Brown, Lecturer in Law, Newcastle Law School)

Fingerprint Evidence Professor Jim Fraser, Centre for Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde, Ian Shaw, Future Forensics Project, School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University (Chair, Mike Thompson, Head of National Fingerprint Training, National Policing Improvement Agency, Discussant, HH Judge Prince, Resident Judge, Durham Crown Court)

On Wednesday May 6th a seminar was held on the use of lie detectors in civil proceedings and their proposed use in criminal proceedings. This was an issue that appeared recently in the Sunday Times and Professor Don Grubin (Professor of Forensic Psychiatry from Newcastle University) who was quoted in the Sunday Times article, who has run trials in this area with sex offenders and who has used polygraph evidence in child care cases, participated in the session.

On Wednesday April 8th 2009 the Centre held a seminar concerning the decision of the House of Lords in McE v Prison Service of Northern Ireland, which held that covert surveillance of lawyer client communications (and privileged communications between doctor and patient) may be permissible under the RIPA 2000

In the third seminar to be organised by the Centre for Criminal and Civil Evidence and Procedure, Jonathan Bainbridge led a round table discussion concerning the new Money Launder Regulations 2007, which implement the third Money Laundering Directive. The seminar, which will took place on November 29th 2007 from 5.00-7.00 concerned the impact of the new regulations both for prosecuting authorities and for solicitors.

This seminar took place on Thursday March 13th at 5.00.

Date: Wednesday 11th March
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Venue: CCE1 403

The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to giving an excellent service to all victims and witnesses who attend court as part of our overall commitment to support victims and witnesses effectively throughout their time in the criminal justice system. The aim of this consultation is to ask for responses to the draft guidance which sets out the role played by prosecutors at or before court in ensuring that witnesses give their best evidence. This is a core part of the prosecutor's job and will, if done properly, impact positively on both the quality of the witness's evidence in court and the perception of the service they receive from the CPS. The guidance emphasises the need to ensure that witnesses are properly assisted and know more about what to expect before they give their evidence. Prosecutors have an important role in reducing a witness's apprehension about going to court, familiarising them with the processes and procedures - which may seem alien and intimidating - and managing their expectations on what will happen whilst they are at court. Some prosecutors may be uncertain about what they are allowed to say to witnesses. This guidance makes it clear what is expected and permissible and explains the difference between assisting a witness to be better able to deal with the rigors of giving evidence (which is permitted) and witness coaching (which is not permitted). We want to know what you think. 

Law expert Professor David Ormerod QC has given a public lecture at Northumbria Law School exploring: The Scope of Reform for Offences Against the Person.

Professor Ormerod is the Law Commissioner for England and Wales responsible for Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure. Previously he has been a practicing member of 18 Red Lion Court, specialising in serious Fraud cases. He is also Professor of Criminal Justice at Queen Mary, University of London and is the author of Smith and Hogan’s Criminal Law and editor of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice and of the Criminal Law Review.

The legislation governing offences against the person dates back to 1861. In its recent scoping consultation paper, the Law Commission asks whether the Act is so defective in principle and practice that it ought to be reformed. The Commission cites the 1998 Home Office draft Bill on offences of Violence as a possible model for any future reform.

Professor Ormerod discussed the Law Commission’s approach to criminal law reform and outlined the background to the consultation paper. He raised a number of issues including: Are the 1861 Act offences still fit for purpose? How much difference would a clear modern statute with a hierarchy of offences make? Should any future reform include provisions dealing with transmission of disease?

Kevin Kerrigan, Executive Dean for Northumbria Law School and Newcastle Business School, said: “We were delighted to welcome Professor Ormerod to Northumbria Law School and to hear his insightful and highly engaging lecture on this important legal debate. With a national and international reputation for excellence in legal education, we aim to give out students every opportunity to learn from the finest legal minds around, and this was just the latest example of this approach. We have a strong track record of attracting the best here, both to give public lectures but also to our research strengths through the globally renowned Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice, which brings together leading academics, judges and lawyers.

On Wednesday May 20th the Centre held a seminar concerning the reliability of expert evidence in criminal proceedings for the purpose of producing a response to Law Commission consultation in this area.

Date: Friday 17 April 2015
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: Northumbria University, City Campus East, Room 403, Newcastle upon Tyne

This one-day seminar, entitled ‘Representations of Sex: Criminal Evidence, and the Impact on Jury Decision-Making’ will seek to assess the depictions of sex and sexuality in the context of the criminal trial, as well as in the mainstream media. Evidential issues surrounding the admissibility of bad character and sexual history evidence will be evaluated in an attempt to ascertain to what extent a balance is maintained between the rights of the defendant and the complainant at trial.

Speakers will include: Professor Jennifer Temkin (City University); Mehera San Roque (University of New South Wales, Australia); Dr Rachel Fenton (University of the West of England, Bristol); and Dr Roderick Munday (University of Cambridge).

The event is free and lunch and refreshments will be provided Numbers are strictly limited so please confirm your attendance as soon as possible by emailing:

Please note that this conference is CPD accredited.

Presented by the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies with the Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Group

The second seminar organised by the Evidence and Procedure Centre at the School of Law Northumbria University this academic year concerned the second stage of PACE consultation.

The purpose of this session was to enable the Centre to produce a response to consultation (our first stage response produced at a session last year having been quoted on several occasions in the Home Office summary of consultation responses).

As was the case last year, we were joined by Martin Berry from the Criminal Justice Department at Northumbria Police, who are also producing a response.

As part of a review of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), the Home Office launched a public consultation into police powers.

It was suggested that it might be of value for the Centre for Criminal and Civil Evidence and Procedure to run a staff seminar on PACE with the intention of producing a response to this consultation. The value of a response based on such a session, it was thought, was that we could draw from the views and experience of members from a variety of backgrounds (i.e., the judiciary, the CPS, defence solicitors, practising barristers, the police and, academics), rather than focusing upon the views of one particular interest group.

The seminar took place on Thursday May 3rd 2007 and a lively discussion, involving academics, solicitors, barristers, police officers and a circuit judge, ensued. A response to consultation was subsequently to be drafted by members of the centre.

Centre for Evidence & Criminal Justice Studies (University of Northumbria)
Sydney Institute of Criminology (University of Sydney)
Date: Wednesday 23 September 2015
Location: 4th Floor Corporate Hub and Harvard Lecture Theatre, School of Law, Northumbria University
Time: 11.00-18.00

On Wednesday 23rd September the Centre for Evidence & Criminal Justice Studies (University of Northumbria) and the Sydney Institute of Criminology (University of Sydney) will co-host a 1 day conference on 'The Age of Criminal Responsibility' at Northumbria University in Newcastle. The aim of this conference is to encourage debate and discussion on the current age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales which is set at 10 years. This conference will provide a forum for exploring the latest research and developments in understanding the challenges facing young people in conflict with the law.

There will be original presentations by leading experts in this area, including:

  • Prof Barry Goldson (Dept of Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology, University of Liverpool),
  • Prof James Chalmers (School of Law, University of Glasgow),
  • Pam Hibbert OBE (Standing Committee for Youth Justice, Centre for Social Justice),
  • Dr Thomas Crofts (Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney),
  • Helen Howard (Social Futures Institute, Teesside University),
  • Dr Raymond Arthur (Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies, Northumbria University.
The conference should be of interest to a wide audience including researchers, policy makers, judges, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists, criminologists, educators, and professionals in many other allied disciplines who address the subject of childhood, youth and criminality.
The conference is free to attend, however there are limited places available. To confirm your place at this conference, please register online. Further information regarding the conference is also available via this link.
With very best wishes,
Nicola Wake (Senior Lecturer, University of Northumbria), Dr Ray Arthur (Reader, University of Northumbria), and Dr Thomas Crofts (Associate Professor, University of Sydney)
Follow the conference via Twitter @ACRNORTHUMBRIA #ACR2015
Further information on the work of the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies 
Further information on the work of the Sydney Institute of Criminology


IPCC Commissioner Carl Gumsley discussed the past, present and future work of the IPCC. Carl has responsibility for Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland, Port of Tees and Hartlepool, Lancashire, Cumbria, Merseyside and the Port of Liverpool forces, plus the National Crime Agency (NCA) and HMRC. He is also the Commissioner lead in a number of ongoing projects and policy areas including safer detention and coronial liaison.


Carl Gumsley became an IPCC Commissioner in May 2014. Before joining the IPCC, Carl served as Senior Magistrate (Resident Judge) and HM Coroner to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territories, having previously practised at the Criminal Bar from chambers in Newcastle upon Tyne. Carl was appointed as a Crown Court Recorder in 2008 and has subsequently been authorised to sit as a Family Court Recorder.

On Wednesday March 18th we held a seminar from 17.00 to 19.00 which primarily concerned the operation of the rule in Hollington v Hewthorn in the context of winding up proceedings and directors disqualification proceedings but also considered the extent to which the rule remains applicable in civil proceedings generally and the extent to which it has been abolished in the criminal context by the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Date: 23rd September

An expert law conference at Northumbria University, Newcastle, has said the Government must follow the example of other countries and stop criminalising children as young as ten.

Organised by Northumbria Law School, the Age of Criminal Responsibility (ACR) Conference attracted leading judges and authorities on youth and social justice. The event also comes just as the Government announces a review into youth justice - and in particular how best to tackle re-offending. In recent years there has been a reduction in the number of young people entering the youth justice system. However, little progress has been made in reducing reoffending, with 67 per cent of young people leaving custody reoffending within a year.

For more information please click here

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