Leicester Law School

News archive 2022

Is forensic science failing the criminal justice system?

Professor Carole McCartneyProfessor Carole McCartney a member of the ‘Westminster Commission on Forensic Science’ inquiry into forensic science standards, quality and miscarriages of justice.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justice (APPGMJ) has announced the ‘Westminster Commission on Forensic Science’ commencing January 2023. The inquiry has arisen from the concern that wrongful convictions are being caused by flawed forensic science. Evidence will be taken from forensic scientists, academics, lawyers, police investigators and victims of miscarriage of justice, many of whom have raised concerns of the ‘misapplication’ of forensic science leading to wrongful convictions. The Commission will then make recommendations for necessary improvements and reforms.

Find further information on the commission.

Professor Carole McCartney has been researching criminal justice and forensic science for over 20 years and has written on miscarriages of justice, DNA and biometrics, forensic science and the criminal justice field.

The Leicester Law School Medical Law Mooting Competition 2022

The ninth annual competition will take place on Saturday, 3 December 2022 at Leicester University. This year, the competition is being sponsored and supported by 1 Crown Office Row and Irwin Mitchell. 

Only one moot problem will be set for the competition, which will involve issues relating to medical law. This moot problem will be released on Tuesday, 1 November 2022. Teams will prepare both sides of the mooting problem. Heats will take place during the day, with a final in the late afternoon/early evening, followed by a reception. The final will take place in front of a panel of judges, to include senior barristers from specialist medical law chambers. 

Entry to the competition is now open. Please note that only undergraduate students and those registered on either an LLM/MA law course or a GDL course may enter the competition. The competition is not open to students studying on a practice course. The rules of the course may be accessed below.

Competition entry

Complete the competition entry form below and email to tracey.elliott@le.ac.uk or post to:

Dr Tracey Elliott, 
Leicester Law School, 
Fielding Johnson Building, 
University of Leicester, 
LE1 7RH. 

Institutions must pay the entry fee of £50.00 via the shop@le

The fee includes the provision of refreshments and lunch on the day to competitors and accompanying judges.
Entry forms and payment must be received by Monday 28 November 2022. 
Late entries may be permitted after that date at the discretion of the competition convenor, Dr Tracey Elliott, if there are spaces available.

Analysing Law student films celebrated at 25 October 2022 screening 

Leicester Law students showcase films on the topic of ‘what law means to me’ 

In October 2021, law students in the Analysing Law module were asked to produce a three-minute film on the topic of ‘what law means to me.’  The 25 best films were showcased in a student-produced film screening on 25 October 2022. The best film nominees were creative, impactful and fun to watch. 

 A judging panel from across the University selected winners in four categories: Poetry/Song, Creative Imagery, Documentary Film and First Person. The panel consisted of Professor Neil Chakraborti (Centre for Hate Studies), Professor Nick Mai (Criminology) and Dr Melanie Kennedy (Media and Communications). The winners received a certificate and a £100 Amazon voucher. Other nominees received a certificate and a £50 Amazon voucher.

 The screening was attended by the filmmakers, other students, and Law School staff. The event gave first-year students an opportunity to see and be inspired by the films of their peers. Precious Asande Karley, a second-year LLB student and best film nominee, edited the film reel for the screening.

The film project is a novel form of assessment that was developed through student and staff collaboration as part of a University of a Leicester Digital Innovation Project on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It was an intentional move to decolonise and diversify the mode of assessment on the Analysing Law module. This is part of a larger 'decolonising the curriculum' project, which aims to identify, acknowledge and challenge the ways colonialism has impacted learning.

'Earth to Leicester' Law School initiative is finalist in prestigious Green Gown Award

The Green Gown Awards, held in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges around the world.

12 August 2022

During the Go Green Week at the University in February 2022, the student-led Climate Crisis Project, part of the Pro Bono Society at Leicester Law School, ran a workshop to address how the Law School can have a positive impact on the climate crisis.  The workshop was attended by Law School academic staff and students, the University Social Impact Team and members of the Green Bubble (University student sustainable project group).  The Project’s key points were integrating sustainable teaching practice into the Law School, promoting more sustainable legal careers, sustainable initiatives developed at other universities and an introduction into the Green Bubble initiative. 

A follow up workshop with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) took place in March 2022. Here, the Climate Crisis Society talked about the student perspective, and discussed key questions, with an aim of developing a greater understanding of how to enhance the sustainability content and communication in the Law School. 

This collaborative work with staff and students has allowed the Law School and the Social Impact Team to progress the University’s Strategic aim to embed sustainable development goals through Education.

Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor, said,

“This award embodies our partnership working and proves the value of enabling proactive students to collaborate with staff, empowering them to become Citizens of Change who make a real impact upon society. We are proud of their united effort to strengthen education for sustainable development at Leicester.”

The Earth to Leicester Law School initiative will be piloted in other University departments after its success in engaging staff and students to develop a sustainability dialogue.

The Green Gown winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 8 November 2022 at Loughborough University.

For further information on the Earth to Leicester Law School initiative, see the Uol Social Impact Team Instagram feed.

New editor appointed to international journal on British immigration law

Dr Alan Desmond, lecturer in the Law School at the University of Leicester and expert in migrants’ rights and immigration law has been appointed as editor of the quarterly Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law.

Full story

Publication of influential research on cost, funding and access to civil justice

Masood Ahmed and Professor Xandra Kramer (Erasmus University) co-edit international research on the developments and challenges in costs and funding of civil disputes, and the impact on access to justice

12 July 2022

Access to justice is a basic human right and a fundamental constitutional principle which is being undermined and severely restricted as a consequence of disproportionate and crippling litigation costs, the complex nature of the civil court process, and the severe delays that exist before justice is obtained. In an attempt to remedy these problems, private forms of litigation funding (e.g. third party funding and insurance) have developed and costs rules and procedural reforms have been implemented by the courts and policy makers. Although these recent developments are to be welcomed, they pose a number of challenges. 

The Special Issue of Erasmus Law Review entitled ‘Global Developments and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice’ brings together articles by international civil procedure scholars which provide detailed critical perspectives of costs rules, funding arrangements, recent procedural developments (e.g. alternative dispute resolution) and the impact on access to civil justice. The articles critically focus on developments and challenges in costs and funding in a number of European jurisdictions (England and Wales, Cyprus and Ireland) as well as the United States, Australia and Singapore. 

Masood and Xandra’s article critically analyses the right of access to justice and the evolving concept of ‘justice’, private modes of funding civil litigation, procedural developments and reforms and the increasingly significant role played by alternative dispute resolution procedures within the civil justice system before concluding with proposals on how future civil justice reforms should develop.
The Special Issue is open access and available to read online. DOI 10.5553/ELR.000215
This special issue has been published as part of the Vici ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ Project which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and led by Professor Kramer. Masood is a Research Fellow on the project. 

PhD award: An Analysis of English Law in Referring Disputants to Consensual ADR Methods, Md Mahar Abbasy

This thesis critically analyses the current practice of consensual Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). In particular mediation in England and Wales to identify best practices in moving civil disputes to consensual ADR options.

21 June 2022

Md Mahar AbbasyConsensual ADR is helpful in resolving civil disputes out of court yet ADR remains underused in England and Wales. This is a significant issue as litigation is increasingly expensive and funding options are limited. More importantly, the majority of the cases that come to court are of small value, and in many of these cases, individuals (especially Litigants in Person) are not well informed about ADR options. Those who use ADR, usually have higher satisfaction. What English are in place to refer disputants to consensual ADR. What are the reasons for low uptake of ADR and how can it be promoted for suitable cases? Encouragement of ADR through education and facilitation is the most favoured policy option in England and Wales. The option to use compulsion to undertake ADR is the most debated option but there is strong resistance among the judiciary and the policymakers. Some mandatory measures have been introduced by the government of England and Wales but there is not enough in-depth analysis of these measures to show how far these initiatives have been successful in increasing the uptake of ADR.

This study seeks to fill this gap by an analysis of existing measures and comparing them to identify best practices and makes recommendations for reform. Based on the findings, this study recommends the introduction of a more effective ADR policy combining education and encouragement through proper signposting to ADR processes; facilitation via modern technologies; and well-targeted intervention in individual and appropriate cases by judges, lawyers and mediators who must undergo a cultural change.

Dispute resolution at Leicester Law School Research clusterCurrent PhD researchPast Phd research

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