LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology (University of Manchester)
MRes Criminology and Socio-legal Studies (University of Manchester)
Throughout my undergraduate degree my interests were firmly rooted in the more socio-legal and criminological modules that I studied; particularly in issues arising from debates around criminal law, criminal evidence and criminal justice. Following the completion of a criminal evidence module, I became increasingly interested in the treatment of witnesses throughout criminal trials and the conceptualisation of miscarriages of justice.
My research seeks to examine whether the unequal treatment of parties to the proceedings during criminal trials could be a potential cause of miscarriages of justice. Many rules of evidence apply unequally to defendant and non-defendant witnesses; provisions for examination here including those regulating the admissibility of bad character and past sexual history evidence, as well as the use of special measures in court. These will be considered in light of the due process principles that have traditionally underpinned such rules; including, primarily, the presumption of innocence and commitment to the equality of arms.
This will be completed in accordance with a rights based model of miscarriages of justice that highlights injustice as stemming from inherent failures in the law to protect the rights of individuals. It will feature an examination of the context in which reforms to the law were made and the effect that these have been having in court. This will be completed by documentary analysis of political documents and case law and accompanied by data from qualitative interviews and a period of shadowing of members of the legal profession.
Links to the legal profession are being facilitated by CEPLER, No5 Chambers having agreed to collaborate with the Law School.