To ask for help with a law essay here?(28 Posts)
I've pretty much exhausted my tutor's ear on this now and need to urgently choose my thesis. I'm struggling to make the connection between the things I'm supposed to be writing about though.
The theme is Miscarriages of Justice, both in terms of being wrongly found guilty of a crime and also wrongly accused of a crime, and how it is need of an update.
The events I am to write about are a case in which a man was convicted for murder but it was later overturned, he was released but with no support as he didn't fit the bill for compensation, and Hillsborough with the vilification of the fans who were wrongly accused of being the cause of the disaster.
These two things seem very difficult to bring together. Am I missing something obvious here?
My immediate thought is to write about whether both cases were investigated properly initially, or whether investigations stopped at the most convenient ( though incorrect ) answer. Both Hillsborough and any murder would both be high profile cases with a lot of press attention, and the investigating officers having a huge amount of pressure put on them to complete the case by their senior officers.
Look at Home Secretary involvement. Theresa May was the Home Sec involved in re opening the Hillsborough investigation. She presented the Mother of a Hillsborough victim with a Pride of Britain award for her determination to seek justice.
Look at Press involvement on both cases too.
Thank you so much for your help. I just couldn't connect the two in terms of a legal base, it seemed odd to compare them. It makes sense to look at it from a media/influence perspective though, thank you.
This may help I hope.
Apologies if I misunderstood your question.
It’s not going to go down well for higher level law if you write about media perspectives.
Is there a common theme in the presentation of the evidence? Failure to investigate properly or delay in justice leading to miscarriages? Look at the legal details within the two case studies. I don’t know about the individual case but there were cover ups and false evidence presented in Hillsborough were there not? The criminal investigations are still ongoing now
What level are we talking here and law course specific or a law element of a different subject course. Context would help a lot. They could be angling towards you looking at s76 and s78 or abuse of process if it’s law specific
Is this for your degree dissertation?
What do you need to achieve - have you got a brief yet?
Or do you have an essay title we can review with you?
I can see why you're struggling! What is the course that this is a dissertation for? That way it should be clearer where you need to focus. E.g. the legal procedures for reviewing a conviction/bringing a prosecution, or more theoretical aspects of criminology or jurisprudence. Do you have the option to look at other cases, or just those two?
Take a look at the Hillsborough Law aka Duty of candour bill. Its aim is to prevent cover ups by amongst other things empowering whistle blowers. With both Hillsborough and for example the Birmingham Six, the relevant authorities messed up by allowing/not preventing the deaths. Junior officers in both cases allege they were bullied into not speaking out/statements changed/disclosure prevented. West Midlands Police involved in both cases too ...
These two things seem very difficult to bring together
The signal that gives is that maybe writing about these two things isn't a good idea. What about picking one of your two types of miscarriage of justice and writing about examples of that?
You could look at the issue in law that 'not guilty' does not equal 'innocent'? Also funding into the two reviews of evidence, the role of the Police in criminal cases (particularly where there is evidence of wrongdoing) and examine whether our current legal system excuses mistakes/deliberate obstructions of justice or gives greater weight to their testimony than is warranted?
Wow I wasn't expecting so many replies, thank you all.
It's for third year LLB, although it's taken me double the time as a part timer.
It's an independent research project but we have to work through a sort of table that narrows our selection down, so there isn't an essay question as such.
The table goes like this:
Public law - judicial review/challenging authorities - miscarriages of justice - Hillsborough & the murder case.
As it's an independent piece my tutor has given me as much help as possible but the penny still hasn't dropped and I feel like an idiot.
I could write a piece on the murder case and how compensation for miscarriages of justice is very limited and in need of reform. I could write a piece on Hillsborough and how all of the processes that were supposed to be in place failed so reform, as put forward by the independent panel, is much needed.
But bringing the two together just stumps me. It seems like two entirely different topics than can't be compared.
Have they concluded these are the two cases you have to wrote about or have you picked them?
Stick them in a table themselves - similarities and differences.
I wrote a dreadful Criminology dissertation on the legal history of women (marriage, divorce, education, votes, rape etc) the for some reason reviewer the efficacy of the Met Police Project Sapphire. Separately, good topics. Together, dreadfully incoherent.
I think I would do hillsborough and link it in with current day.
The delays and disaster in that investigation are only going to get worse with budget cuts in police and prosecution agencies. Plus look at this new drive regarding mobile phones and disclosure. It’s going to be a nightmare as one phonecan lead to 1000s of pages of documents to review.
Theresa lot to pick at particularly with the matter still being prepared etc.
The current disclosure issues are technically non-issues. I'm Advanced Disclosure trained, and none of these issues should ever have arisen. Lazy detectives and lazy prosecutors are to blame in these instances, rather than the process.
However, having said that - these are prosecution issues. The defence had a huge problem that public funding doesn't pay for the defence barrister or solicitors to review every page. My last major trial lasted 3 months and involved tens of thousands of pages of phone and Internet data. I had reviewed the lot and disclosed it appropriately with the help of an excellent CPS junior barrister. The defence, however, probably never did as they traditionally are paid by the page, but because we served most of the evidence as spreadsheets - on a CD - the pagination didn't exist. A specific fund is accessible for this, but applications have to be made. They were approved in this case, but I wonder how many are not.
I wonder if your comparison should be around the different processes for challenge here. In the murder case how was the miscarriage challenged e.g. through a criminal case review body or the like and Hillsborough was through inquiry. The murder case obviously meant a challenge to a case proven beyond reasonable doubt and therefore the challenge was to meet that. For Hillsborough it would be balance of probabilities and the fact that there was challenge that public bodies not only failed in their duty but actively sought to cover up real events. I would be looking to analyse both processes in terms of the procedures, who can initiate them and why(looking at potential hurdles for locus) and the time they took. The outcomes of both are also important. I think it sounds really interesting good luck!
Some kind of police personnel then are you redcars since lawyers don’t use terms like advanced disclosure trained and nobody but prosecution deal with disclosure service. Although maybe one of the other prosecuting bodies since it sounds likely it was a fraud or complex case work if the case took 3 months and has that much phone data.
The contempt I have for your first paragraph is too great to be put into writing. I’m going to let time prove this one for me.
Hope your essay goes well. Redcars just pissed me off far too much to stay on this thread so just going to wish you luck and I watch it.
Honestly - because I did it myself and flunked. Please don’t write about media perspectives for your final year LLB. There will be a case somewhere that sets the precedent for misscariages of Justice and you can use that to bring everything together? Do your course mates have any tips. X good luck
Hope that didn’t make me sound goady/ stuck up. I’m just still a bit bitter/raw about having at resit 😂
Do you want to go into the legal profession?
I found it a really interesting degree most of the time but there were definitely parts that were so dry!
Good luck with whatever you do I’m sure you’ll be fantastic ☺️ If you ever want to pm me, I ended up doing alright in my degree in the end, and did really well in some of my core modules, I’ve got pretty much everything I did on a usb so could email anything to you if you wanted
All the best!
Perhaps consider from a human rights perspective too?
Maybe you need to consider compensation not only from a monostory point of view? It’s taken years for the admission and apologises to be administered to the families affected by Hillsborough. Is there a link to the legal process following a realisation of wrong doing? Not just financial compensation. As in how do individis go forward in society, gain work, explain cv’s etc
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