66 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
    • 4.0 • 19 Ratings

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

    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
    Gender recognition

    Gender recognition

    Is Scotland's Gender Recognition bill a progressive step forward, or a threat to women? Joshua Rozenberg investigates the legislation, which removes the need for medical evidence when changing gender and reduces the age at which this can be done.
    Lawyers in the City of London bring in billions of pounds to the UK economy. English law is popular overseas for its predictability and for the independence of its judges. But is this reputation as a beacon for the rule of law being eroded by a lack of court funding and also by what some see as government undermining the judiciary? Fears raised by the Lord Chief Justice and echoed by the body representing City of London solicitors.
    And why is there still a pay gap between male and female barristers?
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius
    Research: Octavia Woodward and Imogen Serwotka
    Sound: Graham Puddifoot
    Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 28 min
    Ukraine: war and law

    Ukraine: war and law

    How does international criminal law regard Russia's invasion of Ukraine? Joshua Rozenberg speaks to Professor Philippe Sands QC, whose grandfather was forced to flee the Ukrainian city of Lviv over a century ago .
    Is our democracy being eroded by the government, by reducing parliament’s opportunities for scrutiny? Two reports from the House of Lords Select Committees, titled "Government by Diktat" and "Democracy Denied", say there is an urgent need to return power to parliament. They worry about power grabs and an increased use of secondary legislation - ie laws made by ministers, that can’t be amended by MPs or peers. One recent piece of secondary legislation made it legal in England for children in care aged 16 and above to be housed in unsupervised adult accommodation such as hostels. Joshua hears from a care-experienced writer what that was like, and the risks that vulnerable children might face in such housing. The law is now being challenged in the courts.

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

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

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19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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