68 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 Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 174 Ratings

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

    Prison Education

    Prison Education

    Prison education is “chaotic”, says the House of Commons Education Select Committee, and often “inadequate” says Ofsted. Yet, if done right, it can help reduce offending, and the number of victims, by giving prisoners the skills they need to get a job upon release. It’s no small task. Over half of prisoners have reading ages below 11. A large proportion have special educational needs. Many were expelled from school and have no qualifications. Yet education doesn’t seem to have been a priority. Now the government has promised a "step-change" for an improved Prisoners Education Service for England and Wales in its White Paper. Can it deliver?
    In a special edition of Law in Action Joshua Rozenberg speaks to people whose expertise and experience spans the spectrum of prison education:

    • Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor
    • Chair of the Education Select Committee Robert Halfon MP
    • Governor Steven Johnson, Head of Reducing Reoffending at HMP Leeds, who speaks on education for the Prison Governors Association
    • Open University criminology lecturer, manager for students in secure environments, PhD candidate and former prisoner Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski
    • David Breakspear, former prisoner and prison education campaigner
    • Joe Tarbert, Employment Support and Partnerships Manager at Redemption Roasters
    • Neah, former prisoner and trainee barista at Redemption Roasters

    Joshua puts some of their concerns to the Prisons Minister Victoria Atkins MP, and hears about the government's plans to improve prison education.

    Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius
    Editor: Hugh Levinson
    Production coordinator: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
    Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar

    • 28 min
    Human Rights: Reforming the Law

    Human Rights: Reforming the Law

    Can the proposed British Bill of Rights be compatible with international law? Joshua Rozenberg speaks to Mark Elliott, Professor of Public Law and Chair of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge.

    How can law firms become more welcoming to people with disabilities? Law in Action's Octavia Woodward tests the wheelchair access at Barristers' Chambers 7 Bedford Row. Plus barristers Holly Girven and Disability's Not a Bar co-host Haleemah Sadia Farooq share their experiences of disability and the law.

    Do we need a change in the law to bring more cases of corporate fraud to court? The Director of Public Prosecutions sets out his plans.

    Also what makes a good judge? "If the party that loses pays you a compliment, then I feel that's a job well done." Lady Rose of Colmworth, justice of the UK Supreme Court talks about balancing fairness and empathy.

    Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg
    Reporter: Octavia Woodward
    Sound: Neil Churchill
    Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
    Producer: Diane Richardson
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 28 min
    Why do so few rape cases go to court?

    Why do so few rape cases go to court?

    Explaining the barriers to conviction at every stage of the criminal justice system. Prosecutions for the crime have declined by 40% over the last four years in England and Wales, although they have gone up in Scotland and Northern Ireland. And yet the number of cases reported to the police is higher than ever. What is going wrong? And what needs to change so that more survivors get justice - and to reduce the threat from rapists?
    Joshua Rozenberg is joined by a specialist panel drawn from across the criminal justice system, to find out where the problems lie. They debate what could be done differently, so that fewer cases result in no further action being taken, or with survivors dropping out of the legal process. And he hears first-person testimony from a woman who was raped, who describes her subsequent experience with police and prosecutors.

    Panellists:
    - Alice Kelly, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Southeast, Crown Prosecution Service
    - Betsy Stanko OBE, emeritus Professor of Criminology, strategic advisor to the Home Office's Operation Soteria Bluestone, and formerly of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime
    - Claire Waxman OBE, Victims Commissioner for London
    - Kirsty Brimelow QC, Vice Chair of The Criminal Bar Association
    - Sarah Crew, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police and National Lead for rape and serious sexual offences at the Police Chiefs Council
    - Wendy Williams CBE, Her Majesty’s Inspector of the Constabulary for the Wales and Western Region

    Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg
    Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Ben Cooper
    Researcher: Diane Richardson
    Production coordinator: Maria Ogundele
    Sound recording: James Beard
    Sound mixing: Neil Churchill

    • 28 min
    Investigating War Crimes in Ukraine

    Investigating War Crimes in Ukraine

    "We can't conduct effective, timely investigations by remote control in The Hague." International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan QC speaks about the efforts and challenges facing investigators on the ground in Ukraine.

    Why lawyers in Scotland are boycotting some domestic abuse cases in a dispute about legal aid.

    Plus, if you place a bet on a winning horse, does the bookmaker have to pay out if they make a mistake?

    Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg
    Producers: Diane Richardson and Arlene Gregorius
    Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 28 min
    The Justice Secretary's Plans

    The Justice Secretary's Plans

    Justice Secretary Dominic Raab speaks to Joshua Rozenberg about the UK's support for the International Criminal Court's efforts to prosecute any Russians who may have committed war crimes in Ukraine. He outlines plans to boost the legal aid budget, and thus the incomes of criminal barristers - but when will they actually get any of the money? Mr Raab also explains why he is replacing the Human Rights Act with a new Bill of Rights.

    The vast majority of senior judges are former barristers, and most are white men. Is the recruitment system skewed against solicitors and minorities? Solicitors insist it is, but the Judicial Appointments Commission strongly denies this. Joshua hears the arguments on both sides.

    “No fault divorce” is set to come into effect in April. Will it free couples from unnecessary acrimony and costs, or make it too easy to split up?

    Producer: Arlene Gregorius
    Researchers: Octavia Woodward and Imogen Serwotka
    Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson
    Sound: Rod Farquhar
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 29 min
    Libel tourism

    Libel tourism

    Has silencing journalists with libel claims now become harder? The High Court dismissed a suit by a Kazakhstan company against journalist Tom Burgis, author of 'Kleptopia'. The phenomenon of foreign individuals or companies using the favourable libel laws and high financial risks of the system in England and Wales is sometimes called "libel tourism" or even "lawfare". Some fear it has allowed Russian oligarchs in particular to stifle criticism. Joshua Rozenberg asks if this case could signal the end of that trend.
    Class actions, or collective actions as they're called in the UK, are new on this side of the Atlantic. How do they work, and could millions of passengers stand to benefit from a case against some rail companies?
    A little-noticed part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would criminalise trespass and "residing, or intending to reside, on land without consent in or with a vehicle". Gypsy, Roma and Travellers say that threatens their lifestyle and makes nomadism illegal. But the Government argues it would prevent "boundless misery to local communities without consequence". Joshua hears the arguments on both sides.

    Producer: Arlene Gregorius
    Researchers: Octavia Woodward and Imogen Serwotka
    Sound: Rod Farquhar
    Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
174 Ratings

174 Ratings

Danyal Freeman ,

New presenter, better show

It seems that Joshua Rosenberg has taken over this show, and it is now much improved.

Theotherman 364 ,

Entertaining, informative and well put-together.

Always interesting, presents legal issues in context and informatively. It doesn’t dumb anything down, but remains accessible.

splooger1 ,

Great podcast

This is great for people who don’t know that much about the law and I could see it as something to listen to if your practising law and like studying and listening to it

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