Category Archives: Law

Strange coincidence and strange fact: an Ashgate book title featured last week as the answer to a question in the popular US game show Jeopardy

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Executive

Prize-winning Ashgate author Richard Weisman recently contacted us to tell us of his astonishment at a strange coincidence and a bizarre connection that took place last week after his son happened to mention to his friend the title of his Dad’s book.

Later that day, October 28th, randomly and by coincidence, the son’s friend was watching the game show Jeopardy on TV and reported that the answer to one of the game show questions was the title of Richard Weisman’s book!

Showing remorseHappily, the contestant got the right answer: Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion. Even the Ashgate series Law, Justice and Power, of which this book is part, got a mention.

To quote Richard Weisman: “once you enter the public domain, you never know what’s going to happen. I have no idea how the book got referenced, but maybe one of the producers of the show is a lawyer going for his PhD.”

You can watch the October 28 episode here. The book is mentioned at 2.38…

2014 Ashgate Annual Lecture in Criminal Law

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Executive

Following last year’s resoundingly successful inaugural lecture by Professor Andrew Ashworth, the second lecture in this series takes place on Thursday 27th November at Northumbria Law School.

The lecture will be delivered by Judge Sir David Baragwanath, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, on the subject, ‘Terrorism as a Legal Concept’.

This lecture series is the result of collaboration between Ashgate publishing and the series editors of the Ashgate series: Substantive Issues in Criminal Law: Alan Reed, Northumbria University, UK and Michael Bohlander, Durham University, UK with Nicola Wake, Northumbria University, UK and Emma Smith, Northumbria University, UK.

General defences in criminal lawThe lecture coincides with the publication of the second title in this series: General Defences in Criminal Law.

This year’s lecture will be held in Northumbria University, Room 403, City Campus East (NE1 8ST) at 5.30pm. Entry to the lecture is free of charge, and is on a first come, first serve basis.

For further information please contact: Emma Smith, Lecturer in Law, Northumbria University.

Completely revised and updated second edition of the BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management is now available

Posted by Helen Moore, Marketing Manager

BIALL handbook of legal information managementA new edition of The BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management, which was first published seven years ago, was published last month by the British & Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) and Ashgate. Edited by Loyita Worley and Sarah Spells, this is a valuable handbook and important reference tool for managers and staff of all types of legal information services.

The new edition has been thoroughly updated by the original team of experts and new contributors, to provide best practice guidance on the key legal information issues for every type of service. Each of the chapters has been updated to reflect general changes in law libraries in the past seven years. The Handbook covers new information technologies, including social networking and communication. New chapters also focus on the key topics of outsourcing and the impact of the Legal Services Act 2007.

“This second edition brings the Handbook right up to date which ensures that this essential reference work continues to be an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in the field of legal information services across all sectors of employment.  The publication of this new edition is due in large part to Loyita Worley of Reed Smith LLP.  Loyita took up the task of editing following the untimely death of Sarah Spells, Law Librarian and Deputy Head of Teaching and Research Support at SOAS Library, who passed away before the work on the new edition was complete.”   Marianne Barber, current BIALL President

Contents:  Foreword, Jas Breslin; Preface; Law libraries and their users, Jules Winterton; Sources of legal information and their organization, Guy Holborn; Legal research – techniques and tips, Peter Clinch; Legal technologies: Current awareness systems, Dean Mason; Law firm intranets, Sally Roberts; Library management systems (LMS), Mandy Webster; Financial management: Planning and budgeting, Sarah Brittan and Michael Maher; Negotiating online subscriptions, Fiona Fogden; Managing legal information professionals, Loyita Worley and Jacky Berry; Copyright and data protection, Chris Holland; Knowledge management, Ann Hemming; Collection management: Cataloguing and classification, Diana Morris; Developing the collection and managing the space, Lesley Young; Taxonomies and indexing, Christine Miskin; E-learning and virtual learning environments, Angela Donaldson; Planning a training session, Emily Allbon; Making the most of social media tools, James Mullan; Outsourcing, Kate Stanfield and Sophie Thompson; The Legal Services Act, Amanda McKenzie; Case studies: Academic law libraries, Diane Raper; Freelance legal information professionals, Karen Scott; Government department libraries, Penny Scott, Stephanie Curran, Kathy Turner and Rachel Robbins; Law firm libraries and information services, Loyita Worley; Solo librarians, Nicola Herbert; Professional society libraries: the Northern Ireland experience of change and repositioning, Heather Semple; References and Bibliography; Index.

About the EditorsLoyita Worley has been Senior Manager of EMEA Library Operations at Reed Smith LLP since January 2007 following the merger of Reed Smith and Richards Butler and has recently been promoted to Director. She was Chair of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) in 1997-1998 and has been involved with BIALL in many capacities since and is currently on the Legal Information Management Editorial Board. She is also a member of the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

Sarah Spells was the Law Librarian and Deputy Head of Teaching and Research Support at SOAS Library, UK.

For more information on the book, please visit: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409423966

Call for Contributors: Controversies in Criminal Evidence

Posted by Sarah Lucy Cooper, Birmingham City University

In 2012, Birmingham City University’s School of Law launched a new centre of excellence, the Centre for American Legal Studies (CALS). CALS was launched to celebrate and advance the School of Law’s expertise in the theory and application of American law. The Centre’s members have expertise in a variety of areas including American criminal law and procedure, the death penalty, equal protection and environmental law. In addition, CALS hosts the largest UK to USA student internship programme and the British Journal of American Legal Studies (BJALS), the only peer reviewed journal of its kind in the UK. The BJALS Editorial Board is headed up by President Obama’s first Federal judicial appointee, the Honourable Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., and is currently in its third volume.

In order to celebrate the launch of CALS, bring together the scholarly interests of its members, and further engage with colleagues in the United States, CALS was delighted to strike a relationship with Ashgate Publishing Ltd to develop, under the Series Editorship of Dr. Jon Yorke and Dr. Anne Richardson-Oakes, a multi-volume series entitled Controversies in American Constitutional Law. The volumes, each of which will be led by the Centre’s faculty, will include edited collections on equal protection law, death penalty law and international law and American exceptionalism. The first collection in the series, Controversies in Innocence Cases in America, led by Sarah Lucy Cooper was published in May, 2014. Founders of the American Innocence Movement, Peter J. Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, reviewed the collection and commented that “Anyone who cares about miscarriages of justice and thinks critically about the system as a whole will find this collection to be a provocative, insightful, and valuable resource.” Purchasing information about this title can be found here, and the Editor’s review of the collection can be found here.

Ms. Cooper’s second collection — Controversies in Criminal Evidence – will bring together leading experts on the theory, application and scholarly analysis of evidence law in America, from a variety of legal, scientific, policy and ethical perspectives. The contributors will investigate contemporary questions concerning the issues presented by criminal evidence. The chapters will be placed within a multi-disciplinary perspective to provide cogent observations and recommendations for the effective application and development of criminal evidence law.

The topics to be included are:

  1. Theory and criminal evidence.
  2. Basic principles, burdens, presumptions and procedural aspects.
  3. Perspectives on major federal and state admissibility frameworks such as the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  4. Expert evidence, including scientific, forensic and medical evidence in criminal cases.
  5. Circumstantial, character, hearsay and impeachment evidence.
  6. Integrity issues and criminal evidence.
  7. Judicial notice, privileges and trial procedure.
  8. Current legislative and policy reforms in evidence law.
  9. International perspectives and/or comparative discussions.

Submissions Information

Interested contributors may focus upon one of the above topics or submit a different issue to be analysed. Co-authored chapters are welcome. Chapters should be approximately 12,000 words, including footnotes. Footnotes should be Bluebook compliant, but chapters will otherwise accord with the Ashgate house-style. The submission deadline for abstracts (max. 400 words) is December, 12, 2014. After this, a proposal will be formed and forwarded to Ashgate for approval. The provisional deadline for first drafts is August 1, 2015.

If you have any questions or you would like to discuss an alternative topic to the ones identified above, please contact me the Editor at: sarah.cooper@bcu.ac.uk.

Restorative Justice Symposium 2014, sponsored by RJ4All

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Manager

Ashgate authors Theo Gavrielides and Vasso Artinopoulou recently organised a 2nd Restorative Justice Symposium on the island of Skopelos, Greece.

The highly successful Symposium was built on the model of the 1st International Symposium on Restorative which took place in 2012; as before, it was sponsored by the Restorative Justice for All Institute (RJ4All), and followed the format of an ancient Greek symposium to allow in-depth discussion.

This year’s Symposium took the theme ‘Race and Power’ and brought together international experts in the field of race equality, international relations and restorative justice to explore new avenues in dealing with the issue of power structures within society, racism and the growing levels of violence and xenophobia locally, nationally and internationally. Delegates were a mixture of academics and practitioners in order to achieve an interdisciplinary dialogue.

The Symposium methodology allowed the exchange of ideas and experiences that will help bridge a gap in restorative justice and race equality issues in academia, research and policy areas internationally. It is hoped that the final output of the Symposium will be the production of a series of webinars using the delegate presentations. These will form part of a package that will be made available through the RJ4All website.

The Aristotle RoomPrior to the Symposium a book launch was held at the Panteion University of Athens – the photo here is of the ‘Aristotle’ room.

Authors Theo Gavrielides and Vassao Artinopoulou

Authors Theo Gavrielides and Vassao Artinopoulou

The proceedings of the first Symposium of seven days of in-depth discussion, debate and collaboration, are published by Ashgate under the title Reconstructing Restorative Justice Philosophy.

Honorable Mention for Richard Weisman’s book Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Executive

Showing remorseWe are delighted to learn that Richard Weisman’s book Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion has received Honorable Mention from the Committee for the Distinguished Book Award for 2014 of the Sociology of Law section of the American Sociological Association. The Honorable Mention will be formally recognised at the Sociology of Law Section Business Meeting at the 2014 ASA Conference in San Francisco.

The award panel’s citation includes:

The work is deeply researched, persuasively argued and lucidly written.  In its treatment of emotions as an event mediated by symbols and interpretations, the work suggests an inextricable social component in expressions of remorse.  Its argument that expressions of remorse vary across social contexts in terms of cultural style, when called for and how they should be conveyed and that these are matters to be explained is evocative.  Along with Foucauldian roots in the notion of the creation of ‘the subject of power’, the book offers an intriguing focus on the contingency of attributions of remorse as well as recognition of the pathological approach to the absence of remorse where a transgressor who is perceived as unable to experience remorse is naturalized as different and somehow deficient.  Emphasis on the ways in which defiance in the refusal to express remorse can be construed as a challenge to the moral basis for the actions of the court offers new insight into the ways communal normativity is reaffirmed or, as in the case of South Africa, reshaped.  This book adds nuance and depth to a much considered topic and so makes a most significant contribution to the intellectual wealth of our field.”

Richard Weisman is Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science, Law and Society Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and Department of Sociology, Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Canada

‘My current research analyzes the social processes by which remorsefulness and remorselessness are claimed by self and attributed by other. Law is one important site for this process in that considerations of remorse enter into judgments about parole, sentencing, dangerous offender status in Canada and capital punishment in the United States’.

Other endorsements for Showing Remorse include:

‘In this gem of a book, Richard Weisman wrestles with the concept of remorse in surprisingly novel ways, using rich illustrations to depict remarkably diverse rituals of apology. Weisman’s effort to probe the contested meanings that remorse holds in our culture, law, and morality has yielded a tour de force.’   Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa, Canada

In the legal system, much depends on whether an accused wrongdoer shows appropriate remorse, yet little attention has been paid to how and why remorse should be exhibited. Richard Weisman’s important book explores what the community expects from a remorseful wrongdoer and what happens – or ought to happen – when those expectations are thwarted.’   Susan Bandes, DePaul University College of Law, USA

In this carefully argued and researched volume, Richard Weisman provides an original examination of the concept of remorse. The work constitutes a valuable addition to the literature on this complex issue and will be of great interest to sociolegal scholars and legal practitioners alike.’   Julian V. Roberts, University of Oxford, UK

‘While contemporary criminal justice is officially secular and fact-driven, offenders are nevertheless expected to show remorse, and lack of visible remorse can have a marked negative impact in parole and probation contexts as well as in sentencing. In this innovative work Richard Weisman explores the complex emotional, psychological and legal issues raised by the criminal justice’s system unwritten expectations about offending and remorse. The book will be of interest to criminologists, sociolegal scholars, forensic psychologists, defence lawyers, and judges, but it is also accessible to the general public.’   Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto, Canada

Showing Remorse was published by Ashgate in January 2014. For more information on the book please visit Ashgate’s website

Controversies in Innocence Cases in America: Editor’s Review

This is a guest post from Sarah Lucy Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Law at Birmingham City University Law School, UK, and Fellow, Arizona Justice Project. It was originally published on the Human Rights and Public Law Blog.

Sarah Cooper presenting 1In 2010 I joined the Arizona Justice Project – a non-profit organization that represents Arizona inmates with significant claims of innocence and ‘manifest injustice’ — as an Adjunct Fellow. The Justice Project is the fifth oldest member of the Innocence Network, which brings together over 60 such projects worldwide.

As a Fellow, I started to engage with the many and varied controversies of innocence work at a time when the American Innocence Movement had found its stride, with around 1000 exonerations to its name. These controversies ranged from the impact of restricted resources and antipathetic attitudes towards reform, to the difficulties of investigating common causes of wrong convictions such as false confessions, eyewitness misidentification and flawed forensic evidence, and the challenges of navigating complex and stringent post-conviction relief rules.

In the heat of the Justice Project trenches, further exploration often led to more questions than answers. Luckily, however, in 2011 Ashgate Publishing Ltd commissioned the Centre for American Legal Studies at Birmingham City University to produce an edited collection series — Controversies in American Constitutional Law — and presented me with the opportunity to provide some answers.

Controversies in Innocence Cases in AmericaMy collection is titled Controversies in Innocence Cases in America and the final line up of contributors includes some of America’s finest ‘innocence’ scholars and lawyers. This includes frontline members of the Innocence Network Keith Findley and Jacqueline McMurtrie, and scholars at the forefront of innocence associated research, namely Jules Epstein, Richard A. Leo, Deborah Davies, Lissa Griffin, Marvin Zalman, Nancy Marion, Michael J. Williams, Carrie Leonetti and Francine Banner, as well as scholars working live innocence cases daily, namely D. Michael Risinger and Lesley C. Risinger at Seton Hall’s Last Resort Exoneration Project and Carrie Sperling the Co-Director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project.

With this diversity of perspective and experience, the collection naturally formed into anthology that provides a 360 degree view of controversies associated with the American Innocence Movement. Moreover, to underscore the practical significant of the collection, the Arizona Justice Project provides a foreword intertwining the collection’s themes with its real-life experiences.

The collection is presented in four sections. Below I discuss some of the highlights across the collection.

PART I: THE RISE OF THE INNOCENCE MOVEMENT IN AMERICA

Part I charts the rise of the American Innocence Movement from the unique perspectives of Keith Findley, the President of the Innocence Network, and Jacqueline McMurtrie, the Director of the Innocence Project Northwest and founding member of the Innocence Network.

Findley considers the Innocence Movement as the “new revolution” in American criminal justice, whereas McMurtrie approaches the journey of the Innocence Network “from beginning to branding,” considering notions of collaborative governance and future research about developing an Innocence Network brand. As such, these accounts of the development of this crucial era of American criminal justice are unrivalled.

PART II: HOW ARE INNOCENT PEOPLE CONVICTED? COMMON CAUSES OF WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS

Part II explores some of the most common causes of wrongful convictions in America, providing a clear insight on how innocent people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. In chapter 3, Jules Epstein considers the “conundrum” of eyewitness misidentification, the most common cause of wrongful convictions in America with research showing around 75% of the DNA exonerations are attributable to such errors. More information about this pervasive issue can be found here.

In Chapter 4, Deborah Davis, Richard A. Leo and Michael J. Williams, examine the issue of false confession, with a particular concentration on interrogation-induced false confessions. They conclude a “real overhaul” of core interrogation techniques is required to resolve this problem. The cases of John Watkins and Eddie Joe Lloyd showcase the need for this research. See: http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/False-Confessions.php.

In Chapter 5, Lissa Griffin tackles the issue of the suppression of exculpatory evidence by prosecutors. Griffin explores the Brady doctrine from its conception in the United States Supreme Court to notions of formalised reform. She concludes that Brady has not provided “meaningful” protection for innocents.

Finally, in a bespoke, Chapter 6, Carrie Leonetti considers the largely untouched issue of America’s contribution to wrongful convictions abroad via foreign aid programmes that provide far more extensive resources for prosecution bodies than defense. Leonetti concludes that America needs to “foster a domestic conversation” about the end goal of American rule of law programs, boldly stating “blindly doing more of the same will not work.”

PART III: REALITY BITES: PROBLEMS WITH INVESTIGATING, PROVING AND DEFINING INNOCENCE

In their foreword, leaders of the Arizona Justice Project state this section of the collection “largely reflects the debates and challenges we engage in daily.” They note familiarity with the “innocence lawyer” role discussed by D. Michael Risinger and Lesley C. Risinger in Chapter 7.

The Risingers argue the emerging role of ‘innocence lawyer’ is different from the traditional criminal defense role, and warrants different ethical considerations. They say this role involves signalling a “well-warranted belief in actual innocence, or at least the gross unsafety of the verdict in regard to actual guilt.” They conclude that this role should be supported by any “mature legal system calling itself a system of individual justice.”

In Chapter 8, Carrie Sperling – by highlighting the myriad of complex and stringent post-conviction procedures faced by a hypothetical innocent inmate – cleverly narrates the difficulties that result when finality and innocence collide. The Arizona Justice Project label the problems faced by the hypothetical inmate as “all too familiar.”

Finally, in Chapter 9, Francine Banner critically examines the contemporary post-conviction innocence standard in light of the rise of DNA evidence; a crucial discussion in any anthology dedicated to innocence issues. To date, 316 people have been exonerated by post-conviction DNA evidence in America and access to DNA testing has been labelled a priority issue by the Innocence Network’s most famous member, The Innocence Project. The Innocence Project’s recommendations about access to DNA statutes can be found here.

PART IV: INNOCENCE REFORM

The final section of the collection looks at how the Innocence Movement has encouraged reform across the American criminal justice system. In Chapter 11 I focus on the concept and development of innocence commissions across America since the new millennium. The chapter highlights how these bodies face tensions with traditional facets of the criminal justice system, framing issues, complex group dynamics and a lack of legitimacy and resources, which has, generally, prevented them from successfully integrating into the criminal justice system, as mechanisms for reducing the likelihood of wrongful convictions.

In Chapter 10, Marvin Zalman and Nancy Marian take a wider, more eclectic approach to reform, exploring the policy work of the Innocence Movement in light existing policy making theories. They suggest innocence reform can be explained by borrowing elements from various existing theories, but no single theory. They conclude by encouraging scholars to engage in further research.

The collection has been described as a “provocative, insightful and valuable resource” by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld, the widely recognised God-fathers of the Innocence Movement. Similarly, Professor Daniel Medwed has described the collection as a “thoughtful and wide-ranging treatment of the topic and a major addition to the academic literature.” Larry Hammond, former President of the American Judicature Society, hails the “Hall of Fame” of contributors and describes the collection as a “roadmap” that might help “us more unerringly to convict the guilty and to free the innocent.”

Admittedly, the collection is not exhaustive, but it would be impossible to – no pun intended — ‘do justice’ to such a vast, complex and ever-evolving area of discourse in a single collection. To that end, it has been a privilege to bring together a discussion of some of the most important issues in the world of innocence from the perspectives of people who engage with it in the most meaningful ways.

More information about Controversies in Innocence Cases in America