Stenography and Charles Dickens

This week the BBC reported – in its own strange way – that court proceedings will be digitally recorded instead of taken down by dedicated stenographers. This could be said to bring an end to a tradition going back to the 17th Century. It’s also quite a sad goodbye to a profession that has included […]

Off the Map: The tragic case of Mahesh Mehta

One of the most common complaints about the justice system is that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Either the sentence is too lenient or the law fails to reflect the seriousness of an offence. The death of 55 year-old businessman Mahesh Mehta is a case in point. The fruit and vegetable wholesaler was robbed […]

Teddy Highwood, his family and the IPCC

Where do you go when you believe you have been failed by the police in their handling of a murder enquiry? This is the story of one family’s decision to complain to the Independent Complaints Commission. ♦ Seventy-nine year-old Teddy Highwood (right) was bludgeoned to death at his home on July 17, 2009. His killer, […]

UK Crime Map

The new police crime map (police.uk) is the third version to hit the internet since January 2009. Earlier attempts didn’t particularly excite the interest of the public. This time the site buckled under the pressure of 18 million hits an hour. So what’s different? Unlike previous incarnations (see the Met’s borough and ward crime map […]

21st Century Court Reporting

Reports that legal history had been made by a judge allowing the use of Twitter in open court for an extradition hearing in London sparked a few earth-shattering predictions. Was this the end of court reporting as we know it? Could this be ‘possibly the final nail in the coffin of shorthand’? Will court hearings soon be televised? […]