Law in Action

Law in Action

United Kingdom

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


Brexit: The Legal Minefield  

Brexit: the Legal Minefield How will the UK achieve its new status? Will the referendum result lead to real legal independence? Joshua Rozenberg and a panel of guests discuss the legal journey Britain must now take. They examine practical questions like workers' rights, the free movement of people and goods, as well as the constitution and human rights. Producer Simon Coates Editor Penny Murphy.

Sexual Risk Orders  

A man living in Yorkshire has been told he must give the police 24 hours before he plans to have sex - despite having no conviction, after being cleared during a rape trial last year. This restriction on his behaviour is a result of a Sexual Risk Order - what some have dubbed 'Sex ASBOS' - which have been designed to prohibit the activity of people deemed to be a potential threat to the public. This could be limiting access to the internet or preventing people from being alone with children - but is there a fine line between crime prevention, and unfairly punishing people who have no criminal record? Plus: The decision to raise court fees in England and Wales has been a controversial one and this week the House of Commons Justice Committee published its report on the policy. It didn't pull any punches. Joshua Rozenberg speaks to committee chairman Bob Neill MP. Finally: the quality of the courtroom performance of witnesses can determine the difference in winning or losing a case. Law in Action finds a court where people are actively encouraged to kick up a song and dance - the Karaoke Court. In East London artist and law graduate Jack Tan has created a mock courtroom, with all the traditional trappings of the law re-imagined. He wants to revive the spirit of Central Arctic Eskimo song duels, in which claims were resolved through singing. A paying audience will help to decide disputes between a number of litigants, singing their case in front of a real-live circuit judge who'll act as an arbitrator. CONTRIBUTORS Bob Neill MP, Chair of the House of Commons Justice Committee Hugh Davies QC, Three Raymond Buildings Detective Superintendent Nigel Costello, North Yorkshire Police Jack Tan, Artist PRODUCERS: Richard Fenton-Smith & Ben Crighton.

Coercive and Controlling Behaviour  

Six months ago, new laws on coercive and controlling behaviour were introduced, targeting those who subject spouses, partners and family members to psychological and emotional torment - but stop short of violence. The type of abuse covered by the new offence could include a pattern of threats, humiliation and intimidation, or stopping someone from socialising, controlling their social media accounts, surveillance through apps and dictating what they wear. It's an issue featured in Radio 4's The Archers, in a story-line which saw character Rob Titchener's long-term emotional abuse of wife Helen slowly drip fed to listeners over two-and-a-half years, bringing wide public attention to the problem. But what about the women who this affects in real life? Joshua Rozenberg speaks to Gemma Doherty about the physical and emotional abuse she suffered while living with her partner Mohammed Anwar. Mr Anwar sought to control every aspect of Gemma's life, from who she socialised with, her diet, and an enforced exercise regime. Mr Anwar became one of the first men jailed for the new offence. He also speaks to Women's Aid - one of several charities which campaigned for the new law, which hopes that the threat of a conviction will help bring in cultural changes in how some people conduct themselves in relationships. Also: Joshua interviews Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, to find out what he has learned six months into taking up his new post. Producers: Ben Crighton and Richard Fenton-Smith.

Artificial Intelligence and the Law  

Artificial Intelligence has made great advances in recent years, with computer scientists developing cars without drivers, planes without pilots and mobile phones which can double up as a personal assistant. The legal profession is proving to be rich territory in the AI field too. Joshua Rozenberg meets computer scientists at the University of Liverpool, who are using 'computational argumentation' to digitally decide the results of legal cases, proving that AI can be just as discerning as a court judge. He also meets the founder of a law firm already making the most of existing AI technology to benefit customers and build business. But just how far is the legal profession - and the general public - willing to trust the judgement of an AI algorithm? The IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice, Professor Richard Susskind, explains where AI might fit into the legal sphere in years to come. Also: The First 100 Years is a new digital history project, charting the pioneering role women have played in the legal profession. Law in Action speaks to the project's founder Dana Denis-Smith and Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Ben Crighton.

Genocide v Crimes Against Humanity  

What does 'genocide' mean? How does it differ from 'crimes against humanity'? And why should there be such tension between two apparently related concepts - and between the two lawyers who devised them? Joshua Rozenberg explores the origins of international criminal law. Producer: Ben Crighton Editor: Penny Murphy (Image: The bones of thousands of genocide victims inside a crypt in Nyamata, Rwanda. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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