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Law in Action

Podcast Law in Action
Podcast Law in Action

Law in Action


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  • Trial and error
    Joshua Rozenberg places under the microscope a controversial lawsuit aimed at the governing bodies of rugby. Players diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, believed to be the result of repeated concussions, claim the sport neglected their duty of care. Did they? He also hears polar opposite views on whether or not thousands more civilian magistrates should be recruited to our courts: Justice Haddon Cave, the senior presiding judge for England and Wales, is in favour of the drive, whilst the anonymous and controversial author known as ‘The Secret Barrister’ is against. Finally, Joshua hears from the hugely successful barrister and judge, Barbara Mills QC, about a hard-hitting report which exposes a lack of diversity at the bar. If you need support with dementia, help and support is available via BBC Action Line.
  • Jailhouse Law
    Joshua Rozenberg speaks to a former jailhouse lawyer about his time behind bars and the cases he tackled on behalf of his fellow inmates. He also hears from well-known broadcaster, Stephen Nolan, about the extraordinary steps he took in tracking down, and launching a libel action against, a social media troll. And Lord Pannick QC, one of the most successful barristers of his generation, discusses the lasting value of courtroom advocacy. Producer: Paul Connolly Researcher: Louise Byrne Sound: Andy Garratt Editor: Hugh Levinson
  • False Memory
    Joshua Rozenberg examines the phenomenon of false memories and the impact they can have on courtroom testimony. Can our recollections ever be trusted fully? And, if not, how profound are the implications for the criminal justice system? He speaks to Sir Andrew McFarlane, the senior family judge in England and Wales, about his plans to open up the family courts to reporting by accredited journalists and specialist bloggers. And Derek Sweeting QC, chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, tells Joshua why he believes the largest funding increase in more than a decade for the justice system still doesn't go far enough. Producer: Paul Connolly Researcher: Louise Byrne Sound: James Beard Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck
  • Judges in Jeopardy
    Joshua Rozenberg speaks to women judges whose lives have been at risk since the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. Forced to leave their high-profile careers behind, many are faced with an impossible dilemma: do they choose a potential escape to freedom? Or do they stay with their families, in hiding and on the run? Ahead of Cop26, Joshua wades into a burning debate on whether or not fossil fuel companies are entitled to compensation from governments which make the switch to cleaner, renewable energy ahead of schedule. And he speaks to Christian Weaver, a young barrister whose new book aims to educate the public about their legal rights in 60 second bursts. Producer: Paul Connolly Researcher: Louise Byrne Studio Manager: Rod Farquhar
  • Fighting knife crime
    Fighting knife crime before it happens; Scotland's "not proven" verdicts; and the law on automated cars. Knife crime in England and Wales is at its highest in ten years. Some young people can find it hard to resist gangs or knives for what they see as self-protection. Often they end up in the criminal justice system. Some argue the law is not the answer. But what is the alternative? We hear from a youth worker at the successful youth centre Youth Futures, and from a retired senior criminal barrister, who has launched an online one-stop-shop,, for those seeking or offering help to keep young people out of trouble. In Scotland, juries can find defendants guilty, not guilty or not proven. If guilt is "not proven", the defendant is acquitted and regarded as innocent in law. Should that third option be abolished? Juries often use "not proven" in rape cases, if they feel guilt has not been proven 'beyond reasonable doubt' (the requirement for a guilty verdict) but nor do they want to imply they disbelieved the alleged victim. Now some campaigners want to abolish the "not proven" option, as research has shown that if it didn't exist, more juries would find the accused guilty, even in rape cases. The government has announced that cars will be allowed to steer themselves in slow-moving motorway traffic, so long as they had been approved for use with automated lane-keeping systems. But what does the law say about liability for automated vehicles? Who is responsible if there is an accident? Is it the driver or the car manufacturer? What changes are being introduced by this year's Automated and Electric Vehicles Act and the planned changes to the Highway Code? Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg Producer: Arlene Gregorius Researcher: Diane Richardson

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