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Law on Trial: Crime, order and justice under the spotlight at free events

The latest thinking on popular protest, policing tactics and the London riots will be discussed during a week of legal talks at Birkbeck from Monday 18 June to Friday 22 June.

The latest thinking on popular protest, policing tactics and the London riots will be discussed during a week of legal talks at Birkbeck.

Gang culture, the use of anti-terrorism powers, and the legal response to HIV will be among the subjects examined during the week of activities from Monday 18 June to Friday 22 June.

Law on Trial – an annual series of evening events – provides a platform for academics, trade unionists, practitioners and activists to present alternative and progressive thinking about law, the criminal justice system, and its relationship to society and economy. The relationship between effective justice and the fairness of the criminal justice process will be at the forefront of the events.

Professor Mike Hough, co-director of Birkbeck’s Institute for Criminal Policy Research, said: “This year’s Law on Trial offers a really exciting week-long programme, with a series of eminent speakers talking on issues of the moment. In particular, it is an opportunity to hear the latest analysis and policy debates sparked by last year’s riots in London. Information will also be available for anyone thinking of studying law at Birkbeck.”

The subjects and speakers include:

  • Monday 18 June, 6pm-8pm: Unsafe law: Public health, human rights and the legal response to HIV
    Professor Matthew Weait, of Birkbeck, explored how HIV and AIDS have been constructed as a legal problem despite being first and foremost a public health issue.

  • Tuesday 19 June, 6:30pm-8:30pm: Protesting in a time of cuts: a clampdown on civil liberties?
    Professor Bill Bowring, of Birkbeck, will discuss the rise in street protests during an era of austerity, and how the State is seeking to justify its policing tactics in the context of the London riots in 2011.

  • Wednesday 20 June, 6:30pm-8:30pm: Reading the riots
    Professor Tim Newburn, of LSE, will present findings from a major interview-based study undertaken in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The Guardian into the riots. Professor Mike Hough, of Birkbeck, will reflect upon the study and explore whether the riots are best seen as a protest against the police, an angry reaction to public spending cuts, or opportunistic looting.

  • Thursday 21 June, 6:30pm-8:30pm: Spinning the crisis: Riots, politics and parenting
    Professor John Pitts, of the University of Bedfordshire, will analyse the evidence influencing policy, and assess the developmental and mental health effects of living in gang-affected neighbourhoods. Paul Turnbull, of Birkbeck, will share his insights on the interactions between riots, politics and parenting.

  • Friday 22 June, 6:30pm-8:30pm: Empowerment as resistance: Critical praxis in an age of incarceration
    Panellists will address the shortcomings of the current incarceration system, and how community organisations can help bring about change for a prison population of nearly 90,000 people. Speakers will include Eddie Bruce-Jones, of Birkbeck, and representatives from Khulisa UK and LEAP Confronting Conflict.

All the events are free and open to everyone. For more information and to make a reservation visit: .

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