48 episodes

Joshua Rozenberg presents Radio 4's long-running legal magazine programme, featuring reports and discussion on matters relating to law

Law in Action BBC

    • News

Joshua Rozenberg presents Radio 4's long-running legal magazine programme, featuring reports and discussion on matters relating to law

    Jack Merritt's legacy

    Jack Merritt's legacy

    Remembering Jack Merritt, who was murdered in the attack at London Bridge in November 2019. He and Saskia Jones, who was also killed, were associated with an offender rehabilitation programme at Cambridge University called Learning Together. The murderer was a former prisoner attending a conference at Fishmongers Hall to mark its fifth anniversary. Earlier in 2019, Law in Action had interviewed Jack Merritt and some of the prisoners he was supporting at Warren Hill Prison in Suffolk. A year on, we hear about his legacy.
    Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg
    Producer: Paul Connolly
    Researcher: Diane Richardson

    • 28 min
    Good advice

    Good advice

    How has the North Kensington Law Centre managed to keep going for 50 years when other social legal advice providers have run out of money? One reason must be the vision of Peter Kandler, 85, who set up the UK’s first law centre in a former butcher’s shop and is still closely involved in running it today. He tells Joshua Rozenberg that, half a century on, the centre is now coping with housing and immigration problems that he thought were a thing of the past.

    Picture: Peter Kandler, founder of North Kensington Law Centre courtesy of Law Centres Network.
    The programme includes an Extract from 'North Kensington Law Centre', © Crown copyright/BFI - British Film Institute or BFI Player.

    • 27 min
    Fire Courts

    Fire Courts

    The lessons of history: what the Great Fire of London can teach us about dealing with a modern plague. And, as the lord chief justice tells his judges to keep calm and carry on — despite the lockdown to be introduced in England on Thursday — we ask whether the Nightingale courts of England and Wales could learn a thing or two from the Odeon courts of Scotland. Joshua Rozenberg reports.

    Researcher: Diane Richardson
    Producer: Neil Koenig

    • 28 min
    The International Criminal Court

    The International Criminal Court

    An independent investigation into the International Criminal Court has revealed examples of bullying, sexual harassment and judicial incompetence. Victims of war crimes are having to wait a lifetime for reparations. But, as Joshua Rozenberg has been hearing, those same victims are hugely grateful to a court that has given them a voice.

    And with a week to go before the presidential election, courts across the United States have already been dealing with voting-related challenges. Will the next US president be chosen by the judges?

    The former president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, says the government's Internal Market Bill is a threat to the nation's reputation as a stalwart of the rule of law, especially when it is asking citizens to abide by restrictions during the pandemic. "It is a massive own goal for the government to be announcing to the people of this country that it does not keep its word, that it does not obey international law," he tells Joshua.

    Extract from video of ICC court proceedings courtesy of the International Criminal Court.

    Researcher: Diane Richardson
    Producer: Neil Koenig

    • 28 min
    Reinventing the law

    Reinventing the law

    How can the courts cope with the constraints of Coronavirus? That’s the challenge facing Lord Burnett of Maldon, head of the judiciary in England and Wales. Joshua Rozenberg asks the Lord Chief Justice whether new ways of working can deliver justice at a time of crisis.

    Among those innovations is mediation, Law in Action speaks to a court-based mediator and a court user whose case was resolved without leaving home.

    And we find out how lockdown is changing the civil courts. Can remote hearings work effectively?

    Researcher: Diane Richardson
    Producer: Neil Koenig

    • 28 min
    Gambling with the law

    Gambling with the law

    A poker player who used a Victorian conjuring trick to win £7.7 million from a London casino left court empty-handed in 2017 after a court found he “took positive steps to fix the deck”. But now judges have decided that the ruling in Phil Ivey’s case should be the test for dishonesty. Joshua Rozenberg explains how it works, while a gambler tells us that the courts have got it wrong.

    Also this week, how do you ensure social distancing in a crowded detention centre?

    And how is lockdown affecting the work of the civil justice system?


    Contributors:
    Dr Natalie Byrom, director of research at the Legal Education Foundation
    Toufique Hossain, director of public law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors
    Richard Munchkin, host, “Gambling with an Edge” podcast
    Professor David Ormerod, University College London

    Researcher: Diane Richardson
    Producer: Neil Koenig

    • 28 min

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