New Project: Full reporting of a murder trial

The decline of court reporting over the last 25 years has been described as a “threat to justice”. Local newspapers may not have the staff or resources to cover a trial in depth and the national press, TV and radio are naturally interested only in the most important or topical cases. Most court reports in […]

Fitness to Plead: The Pritchard Criteria

What happens when the suspect in a murder trial is unable to understand the trial process? And what has that got to do with a man accused of having sex with an animal in 1836? In October 2012, 65 year-old Colin Hammond was stabbed to death in a street in Fulham, southwest London, by Frederic […]

The Terry Gregory Case

The list of Freedom of Information requests dealt with by the Metropolitan Police can make fascinating reading. The most recent from the beginning of March concern questions about ‘road spike apparatus accidents’, statistics on pickpocketing and the number of victims of knife crime in 2010 and 2011. We have previously featured the Met’s five year […]

Contempt of Court: Open Justice?

The idea behind the 1981 Contempt of Court Act was pretty honourable. Everybody deserves a fair trial and to have their guilt decided by a jury rather than be convicted by the ‘Press’. Since then it has come under increasing pressure from the right to freedom of expression, first in the printed media and more […]