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The Lockerbie bombing: reviewing the convictions of those who have died

Published on: Author: Ruth O'Donnell Leave a comment

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has announced that it is to review the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing. The timeline of the case is a complex one. It is set out in more detail here, but in brief, al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment. An initial… Continue reading

Can courts improve how they communicate with jurors in criminal trials?

Published on: Author: Ruth O'Donnell 1 Comment

Today sees the publication of an evidence review, commissioned by the Scottish Government, into methods of conveying information to jurors. The review, which was undertaken by Professor James Chalmers and Professor Fiona Leverick, is part of a wider project of jury research, which also includes a major mock jury study and a second evidence review… Continue reading

Major programme of mock jury research

Published on: Author: Ruth O'Donnell Leave a comment

Researchers from the School of Law at the University of Glasgow are about to embark on what will be the largest study of mock jury decision making ever undertaken in the UK. Professor James Chalmers and Professor Fiona Leverick are part of a team of researchers who have been commissioned by the Scottish Government to… Continue reading

No, “not proven” did not come first

Published on: Author: Ruth O'Donnell 3 Comments

The Scottish Government’s announcement of a two year programme of jury research, which we are delighted to be carrying out along with Ipsos MORI Scotland and Vanessa Munro of the University of Warwick, has yet again brought Scots law’s unusual “not proven” verdict to public attention. One particular aspect of this debate is frustrating. For… Continue reading

The Sir Gerald Gordon Seminar on Criminal Law

Published on: Author: Ruth O'Donnell 1 Comment

On 9 June 2016, the annual Sir Gerald Gordon seminar on criminal law took place at the University of Glasgow, supported by the Clark Foundation for Legal Education and the Faculty of Advocates, and attended by Sir Gerald himself. Sir Gerald Gordon CBE QC LLD has been one of the most influential figures in Scottish… Continue reading

GFSL: The Process of Law Reform in Criminal Evidence and Procedure

Published on: Author: johnmacleod Leave a comment

The next meeting of the Glasgow Forum for Scots Law will take place at on Wednesday 24 February at 3.30pm The Process of Law Reform in Criminal Evidence and Procedure Professors James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick will discuss the various law reform projects that have taken place relating to Scottish evidence law and procedure, from the… Continue reading

Abolishing the “not proven” verdict

Published on: Author: James Chalmers 2 Comments

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee is currently considering the Criminal Verdicts (Scotland) Bill, the latest attempt to abolish Scotland’s peculiar “not proven” verdict. We have submitted evidence to the committee in support of abolishing that verdict, in the following terms. Justice Committee Criminal Verdicts (Scotland) Bill Written submission from James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick Thank… Continue reading

Think governments are creating more criminal offences than ever before? Think again.

Published on: Author: James Chalmers Leave a comment
Stair building, University of Glasgow

It is widely assumed that the rate at which governments create criminal offences by legislation has increased significantly in recent years. The orthodox position in criminal law scholarship (and in news reports on criminalisation) is to treat this as established fact, but there is little if any empirical evidence to support the assumption. In a… Continue reading