Unreliable Evidence

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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19990216

Clive Anderson, grand inquisitor of the stars, returns to demystify the law, with the aid of expert guests.

Each week he cuts through the jargon to get to the heart of an issue which affects anyone who uses the legal system.

19990223

Clive Anderson cuts through the jargon to get to the heart of an issue which affects anyone who uses the legal system.

19990309
19990316
19990323
19990330
19990406
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Clive Anderson tackles issues affecting anyone using the legal system.

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20010227

Clive Anderson gets to the heart of an issue affecting anyone who needs to use the legal system.

20010306
20010313
20010410
20010417

Clive Anderson airs topical legal issues.

He is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the origins of - and fundamental differences between - English and Scottish law.

20020423

Clive Anderson return with a new series of the programme which demystifies important legal issues.

Senior judges and a leading QC discuss freedom of speech.

20020430

Clive Anderson presents the series that demystifies important legal issues.

This edition examines the issue of the International Criminal Court.

20020507

Clive Anderson presents the series demystifying legal issues.

Can there only ever be one correct decision in court? A panel of experts including Lord Bingham debate the issue.

20020514

Clive Anderson presents the series that demystifies legal issues.

Guests including Clare Montgomery QC and Lord Justice Mantell discuss the barrister's central skill of advocacy.

20020521

Clive Anderson presents the series that demystifies important legal issues.

This edition examines the role of the coroner's court.

20020604

Clive Anderson presents the series that demystifies important legal issues.

This edition examines the Auld Review on the future of criminal justice.

20020611

Clive Anderson presents the series that demystifies important legal issues.

This edition asks whether the judiciary is becoming politicised.

20050405

Clive Anderson presents the series looking at key legal issues.

Courts Martial: Is the court martial system fair or is it an oppressive (or perhaps too lenient) charade? How far can it be said to be independent or impartial? Why do we need a separate system of military justice today? What is its relevance in an era of modern warfare and instant communications where any British military base is only hours away by air?

Courts Martial

Is the court martial system fair or is it an oppressive (or perhaps too lenient) charade? How far can it be said to be independent or impartial? Why do we need a separate system of military justice today? What is its relevance in an era of modern warfare and instant communications where any British military base is only hours away by air?

20050426

This edition discusses the question of legal privilege.

20050503

This edition discusses the court martial system.

Why do we need a separate system of military justice today?

20050517

Clive Anderson presents the series looking at key legal issues.

This edition looks at the EU constitution and the implications for UK law if implemented.

Speculation about the fate of the EU Constitution is increasing as France's referendum approaches.

If the EU Constitution survives the French vote at the end of May, what will its ratification mean for UK law? Does the EU Constitution, in fact, create and confer new powers or is it merely a restatement of existing law?

What are its implications for our own constitution, for judicial decision-making and for those who find themselves in court?

20050524

Clive Anderson presents the series looking at key legal issues.

He discusses the use of special advocates.

Two special advocates resigned following the dramatic judgement of the House of Lords in the Belmarsh case.

Why? Can the use of special advocates ever be defended on the grounds of national security? How is the use of special advocates compatible with an individual's right to a fair hearing, either in criminal or in civil proceedings?

20050531

Clive Anderson and his guests discuss whether the transmission of disease should be a criminal offence.

Recently, there have been prosecutions under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 for the transmission of HIV.

Should the transmission of a life-threatening disease constitute a criminal offence? Must there be intent, or even recklessness? Is HIV a special case? If so, why, and what are the repercussions?

20100407

Clive Anderson brings together some of the country's top judges and lawyers to discuss the legal issues of the day.

The first programme explores the often controversial interface between English law and religious belief.

Disputes in which articles of faith clash with the law of the land have arisen over the carrying of sacred knives, employment law, adoption, gay rights and cremation.

One of the first acts of the new Supreme Court was to rule that one of Britain's most successful faith schools had racially discriminated against a 12-year-old boy who was refused admission because the school did not recognise him as Jewish.

And the Government's attempts to strengthen the country's equalities legislation provoked the Pope to call on bishops to fight measures which could force churches to hire homosexual and transgender employees.

When individuals choose to have their disputes resolved in religious courts, such as Sharia or Beth Din, what kind of oversight should the secular courts of the United Kingdom exercise?

This programme explores the extent to which secular law accommodates the irrationality" of religious belief.

Should it be more accommodating as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has suggested?

The producer is Brian King.

This is an Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson explores the controversial interface between the law and religion."

2012041120120414

Clive Anderson asks if UK planning laws are failing to prevent unnecessary development.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss whether our planning law strikes the right balance between encouraging economic growth and the protection of human rights and the environment. Top lawyers and planning law experts examine concerns that the Government has tilted the playing field in favour of the interests of developers.

Planning law determines if our neighbour can build a single extension or whether a £33bn high speed rail network slicing through swathes of English countryside can go ahead. It controls where, and how many, houses are built, where gypsies can camp, and where wind farms or nuclear power stations are sited.

But does this law provide individuals and communities with enough protection from unwanted or un-needed development? Does the Government's proposed National Planning Policy Framework effectively give an automatic green light to development, opening up the prospect of a free-for-all for building on green field land and less restriction on the density of housing development? Or has the removal of regional planning authorities given too much power to the NIMBYs? Is the Government creating a chaotic planning framework in which only lawyers are likely to benefit?

Producer: Brian King

A Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

07/04/201020100410

Clive Anderson brings together some of the country's top judges and lawyers to discuss the legal issues of the day.

The first programme explores the often controversial interface between English law and religious belief.

Disputes in which articles of faith clash with the law of the land have arisen over the carrying of sacred knives, employment law, adoption, gay rights and cremation.

One of the first acts of the new Supreme Court was to rule that one of Britain's most successful faith schools had racially discriminated against a 12-year-old boy who was refused admission because the school did not recognise him as Jewish.

And the Government's attempts to strengthen the country's equalities legislation provoked the Pope to call on bishops to fight measures which could force churches to hire homosexual and transgender employees.

When individuals choose to have their disputes resolved in religious courts, such as Sharia or Beth Din, what kind of oversight should the secular courts of the United Kingdom exercise?

This programme explores the extent to which secular law accommodates the irrationality" of religious belief.

Should it be more accommodating as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has suggested?

The producer is Brian King.

This is an Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top legal minds discuss legal issues of the day."

A Moral Obligation To Obey The Law20030603

Clive Anderson is joined by three eminent figures from the legal world to discuss whether we have a moral obligation to obey the law.

Banks And The Law2009012820090131

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

Is the public interest sufficiently protected by the current laws and regulations controlling the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions? Are new, tougher laws needed in the current economic climate?

Are the public sufficiently protected by the current laws controlling banks?

Class Actions20030520

With legal Aid slashed, individuals find it harder to take action against corporate giants.

Clive Anderson assesses the benefits of US class action.

Complexity

Complexity2011041320110416

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The final programme in the current series discusses concerns that our law has become so complex that even judges are struggling to understand it.

The chair of the Law Commission, the appeal court judge Lord Justice Munby, tells Clive Anderson that unnecessary amounts of government legislation over recent years has compounded legal complexity, and made it difficult for the Commission to do its job, clarifying and simplifying the law.

The last Labour Government, for example, created 4,300 new crimes during its years in power - including a ban on swimming in the wreck of the Titanic and on the sale of game birds shot on a Sunday.

The programme hears how legal complexity creates problems in almost all areas of law, making it increasingly difficult for members of the public to understand and therefore exercise their rights.

Lord Justice Mumby says governments have failed to implement a lot of the Law Commissions suggested improvements to the law, and have also failed to introduce a "basic tool of democracy" - an authenticated electronic database of statutory law.

He admits that the Law Commission's ultimate objective, a complete codification of the law, is unlikely ever to be achieved.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests analyse the legal issues of the day.

Corporate And Public Manslaughter20030422

For some time there has been pressure both within and outside the legal profession for there to be a statutory offence of Corporate and Public Manslaughter.

But there are considerable obstacles.

What are they, can they be overcome and in any event, would such an offence be more just than prosecuting the individuals responsible? Clive Anderson examines the arguments for and against.

Courtroom Drama2012122620121229

With its sets and costumes, soliloquies, suspense and dramatic revelations - the courtroom is pure theatre.

Following the return of Rumpole to Radio 4, Clive Anderson and his guests discuss how accurately the legal world is depicted in stage and screen dramas. And they discuss the issues which arise when the distinctions between fiction and fact - between Rumpole and reality - become blurred in the public's mind.

Guests Helena Kennedy QC, appeal court judge Sir Alan Moses, German judge Ruth Herz and former barrister and co-creator of Garrow's Law, Mark Pallis, reflect on 50 years of fictional courtroom dramas - from To Kill a Mockingbird to Silk, and ask if lawyers can learn things from the actors who portray them.

Does the way courtroom dramas introduce dramatic last minute evidence, show defendants crumbling under cross-examination and defence barristers reducing juries to tears, even remotely reflect the real world? Are judges really as out of touch, and lawyers as pompous and greedy as their screen counterparts? And does it really matter if screenwriters fail to stick to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Award-winning producers of comedy, drama, factual and entertainment programming.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests look at how the legal world is reflected on stage and screen.

Do Judges Declare The Law Or Do They Make It?20050412

This Radio 4 flagship law programme continues with Clive Anderson and eminent guests discussing the constitutional role of judges in Britain's legal system.

Do they simply declare the law as it exists, or do they actually make the law for future generations? In either case, how much discretion do they have, what principles form the basis of their decisions, and is that role changing?

English And Islamic Law20030429

Clive Anderson and his guests examine the areas of conflict between domestic English law and Islamic law.

Can these two systems co-exist? What happens when they conflict? Should one take precedence over the other, or is this a matter of conscience and civil liberty?

European Law: After Lisbon2009121620091219

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

European law has been described as an incoming tide which cannot be held back.

Will the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty generate a legal tsunami which will overwhelm British sovereignty? Are we governed by our own laws or the law of Europe?

Will the Lisbon Treaty generate a legal tsunami which will overwhelm British sovereignty?

Family Courts2009012120090124

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

The family courts stand accused by some of operating in a conspiracy of silence and failing to deliver justice.

Will the government's decision to open the courts to the media improve the situation or simply lead to the sensitive personal details in divorce and child custody cases being exposed in the tabloids?

Will opening the family courts to the media improve their transparency?

Family Law19990302

Clive Anderson cuts through the jargon to get to the heart of an issue which affects anyone who uses the legal system.

`Family Law'.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property2011033020110402

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The second programme in the series looks at the law and intellectual property.

Humans are an extraordinarily creative species, but can't always agree about the legal rights relating to that creativity.

This programme looks at how our courts attempt to resolve disputes over trademarks, inventions, music and literature; in fact over everything from life-saving drugs to sweater designs.

Do our copyright, patent and other laws create the right balance between the protection of entrepreneurship and the potential benefit to the public of less regulated distribution of our creative output?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss the law and intellectual property disputes.

Joint Enterprise2012040420120407

In the first of a new series, Clive Anderson and guests discuss the controversial law of joint enterprise under which people can be convicted of murder even if they didn't physically participate in an assault or strike the fatal blow.

Francis Fitzgibbon QC, who has defended people in joint enterprise cases, argues that this complex and unwieldy law is being applied indiscriminately to combat gang violence, and is leading to miscarriages of justice.

Solicitor Simon Natas calls for the law to be changed to make it necessary to prove that a defendant intended that someone should be killed or seriously injured.

But Mark Heywood QC who has prosecuted in the trials of people accused of murder following the death of a young man during a knife attack by a gang in Victoria Station, defends the way joint enterprise law is currently being applied.

Producer: Brian King

A Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss the controversial law of joint enterprise.

Law V Liberty20010320

Clive Anderson looks at issues affecting the legal system.

He asks to what extent the law should stop us from doing what we want, as the courts are increasingly required to adjudicate on matters of conscience and personal liberty.

Should judges perform such a role, should Parliament decide, or should we be free to make our own choices in matters of conscience and belief?

Murder Law2009010720090110

Proposed reforms to murder and manslaughter laws fall short of the demands of some lawyers

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

Proposed reforms to the law relating to murder and manslaughter will remove the defence of 'crime of passion' and make it easier to prosecute gang members who take part in a deadly assault, but do not actually strike the killer blow.

But the government's plans fall well short of the radical overhaul demanded by many lawyers.

Parliamentary Sovereignty20030506

Clive Anderson is joined by four distinguished guests from the legal world to discuss the subject of Parliamentary Sovereignty.

Privacy2009011420090117

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

Max Mosley's successful court action against News of the World for invading his privacy has sent shockwaves through the newspaper world, which fears that this and earlier judgements will inhibit investigative journalism.

How can the courts balance the conflicting rights of privacy and freedom of speech?

How can the courts balance privacy and freedom of speech?

Public Interest Immunity20030527

When the government is involved in court proceedings, and it wants to withhold evidence of a sensitive nature, the minister involved can issue a Public Interest Immunity Certificate.

But is Public Interest just another way to hide executive embarrassment? What happens to the competing public interests of open government, fair trial and freedom of information? And who judges the minister? Clive Anderson investigates.

/ Public Interest Immunity: Clive Anderson investigates what happens to public interests when ministers issue Public Interest Immunity Certificates.

Weather follows.

/ Public Interest Immunity When the government is involved in court proceedings, and it wants to withhold evidence of a sensitive nature, the minister involved can issue a Public Interest Immunity Certificate.

Sentencing20010327

Clive Anderson airs topical issues in the legal system.

Here he focuses on how society should punish criminals, given the view recently expressed by the Director General and Chief Inspector of Prisons and the Lord Chief Justice that prisons have a negative effect on offenders.

Is the public's desire for retribution more important than rehabilitation, and should victims have a say in sentencing?

Sentencing20030610

Clive Anderson is joined by four eminent figures from the legal world to discuss the issue of sentencing.

Tax

Tax2011040620110409

Clive Anderson and guests analyse the legal issues of the day.

Television Cameras In Court

Television Cameras In Court2012041820120421

Clive Anderson and top judges and lawyers discuss controversial Government plans to relax the rules banning television cameras from our courts. While some legal experts are calling for justice to be seen to be done, others warn that the presence of cameras could 'pollute and corrupt' the process of justice.

Justice Minister Ken Clarke has announced his intention to initially allow judgments in the Court of Appeal to be broadcast, expanding this to the Crown Courts at a later stage. Despite pressure from broadcasters including the BBC, ITN and Sky, the Government has no immediate plans to allow filming of jurors, victims and witnesses.

Clive's guests include judges and lawyers with a wide range of views on the impact cameras would have on the trial process. Among them a Scottish Sheriff who has already allowed filming in his own court.

They discuss the arguments for and against allowing broadcasters unrestricted access to the courts 'from gavel to gavel'. What lessons can be learned from experience in other countries, such as in the OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson trials and the more recent Amanda Knox trial?

Would the presence of cameras dissuade people coming forward as witness, lower the esteem of the court or impede justice in any other way? Or is it time for justice to truly be seen to be done?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss plans to allow television cameras into UK courts.

Terrorism2011032320110326

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The first programme in the new series looks at the role of the law in the 'war' against terrorism and asks if the right balance is being struck between the interests of fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberties.

Among the guests is the Government's official reviewer of counter-terror laws, Lord Carlile, who has criticised European Court of Human Rights judgments which he says have turned Britain into a safe haven for terrorists.

The programme discusses the law relating to pre-charge detention, deportation, stop and search powers and the new replacements to the controversial control orders, which have been dismissed by some critics as control-lite orders.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss issues raised by anti-terror legislation.

The Law And Climate Change2009052720090530

Are our environmental laws robust enough to save the planet for humankind? The Climate Change Act 2008 commits the UK to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, but can this be legally enforced? What law and penalties are available to force industry, individuals and even the government to reduce their carbon footprint?

The Law And Death2009051320090516

Medical science has given us increasing control over when, where and how we die, but the law is struggling to keep pace.

Clive and his guests explore the ongoing legal arguments about assisted suicide, mercy killing and even the precise definition of death.

The Law And Protest2009052020090523

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

Conflict between police and G20 demonstrators raised serious questions about the distinctions in law between our right to peaceful protest and police powers to prevent violence and disorder.

What are the legal limits of our right to express dissent? Is it acceptable for police to use powers under the Terrorism Act to prevent demonstrations and is the police tactic of 'kettling' to control crowds actually legal?

Clive Anderson considers the legal limits of our right to express dissent.

The Law And The Unborn2009050620090509

Clive Anderson presents the series analysing the legal issues of the day.

Developments in human reproductive technologies give rise to a range of legal and ethical controversies around fertilization, cloning, surrogacy and abortion.

The new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act makes legal the creation of 'saviour siblings' and hybrid animal-human embryos for scientific research.

Does the law provide enough protection for the unborn? Clive considers who decides what can be done to an embryo and when, in law, life begins.

An Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson discusses the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.

The Privy Council20010403

Clive Anderson airs topical legal issues.

He is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the role and powers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for many Commonwealth countries and UK overseas territories.

Too Much Information20091223

A major study has claimed that a quarter of government databases are illegal and lead to vulnerable people being victimised.

Just how much information about us is in circulation and what are our rights to access, control and erase it?

Transitional Justice2012042520120428

Clive Anderson and top legal experts discuss what role the international community should play in helping to achieve justice in the wake of massive human rights violations in Arab Spring countries.

What form of justice system is best placed to heal the wounds of years of oppression? Do criminal courts satisfactorily address the horrors of a long and brutal regime? Or are truth and reconciliation commissions better placed to allow a society to move forward?

And should the task of establishing truth, accountability and redress for past abuses be left to individual countries, or is it essential for the United Nations and international lawyers to become involved?

Lawyers and judges with experience of 'transitional justice' processes reflect on whether justice was achieved in the past, in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Iraq, South Africa and Yugoslavia, and argue about the best way forward in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

Among the guests, Libyan lawyer Elham Saudi, who argues that the important thing is that transitional justice is introduced 'organically' and takes the form that the people want. Also taking part is Geoffrey Robertson QC who served as the first President of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss how justice can be achieved in the Arab Spring states.

Clive Anderson and top legal experts discuss the best way to achieve justice in the wake of massive human rights violations in the Arab Spring countries. What role should the international community play in the process?

Libyan lawyer Elham Saudi and US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Stephen Rapp, reflect on how successfully transitional justice was achieved in the past, in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Iraq, South Africa and Yugoslavia, and argue about the best way forward in Libya as well as in Egypt and Tunisia.

Should prominent members of the former Libyan regime, such as Saif Gadaffi, be tried in Libya, where they would face the death penalty, or dealt with in the International Criminal Court in The Hague?

Other guests on the programme are Claudio Cordone of the International Centre for Transitional Justice and Geoffrey Robertson QC who served as the first President of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.

Are criminal trials the best way to address the horrors of a long and brutal regime? Or are truth and reconciliation commissions better placed to allow a society to move forward? And if there are to be trials, should members of revolutionary forces also be prosecuted for human rights violations?

Transsexual People And The Law20050419

The flagship law programme continues with Clive Anderson and eminent guests discussing how transsexuality is treated under English law.

On 4 April, the Gender Recognition Act came into force.

What was the impetus behind the Act, and how does this change life for transsexual people? What are the implications for employment, marriage and sports law? And what issues of sex discrimination and privacy arise?

Unfair Dismissal2012121920121222

Clive Anderson and guests discuss controversial proposed changes in employment law.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss concerns that proposed government changes to employment law are nudging us towards a US-style 'fire at will' culture.

Business secretary Vince Cable plans to cut 'red tape' in employment law in order to promote economic growth. But the proposals, which include a cut in how much workers can claim for unfair dismissal, have raised fears that workers' rights are being eroded.

With many recession-hit businesses looking for ways to downsize their workforces, and the government determined to simplify dismissal procedures, this programme asks if current employment law strikes the right balance between protecting job security and allowing employers the flexibility to adjust their staffing levels.

Leading lawyers representing the interests of employers and employees explain how current law works in the areas of dismissal and redundancy and argue about the need for further change.

Producer: Brian King

An Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

War And The Rule Of Law20030513

Clive Anderson presents the series demystifying legal issues.

Today he examines International Law and its function before, during and after a war.

Who's To Blame?2012121220121215

Clive Anderson and guests discuss the legal duty of care to protect people from abuse.

In the first of a new series, Clive Anderson and top legal experts discuss the extent to which groups and individuals have a duty of care to protect the safety and well-being of others.

Revelations about Jimmy Savile and other abuse cases have raised questions about the responsibility of institutions when wrongdoing occurs on their premises or to people in their care. The programme asks if victims have sufficient recourse in law to take legal action against those who have behaved negligently or have failed to protect them from negligence. How exactly does a court decide who has a duty of care and establish whether or not enough effort was made to exercise it?

Guests discuss calls for the Football Association to be held legally responsible for the Hillsborough deaths, the Government's responsibility for the safety of soldiers in Afghanistan and the Catholic Church's responsibility for sexual abuse by priests.

And what is our individual duty of care for the safety of our own family, our neighbours or for anyone in our community? Should we introduce the equivalent of the French 'Good Samaritan' law which makes it illegal not to help at the scene of an accident?

Other subjects to be discussed in the series are concerns that our employment laws are nudging towards a US 'fire at will'culture, the way the law restricts the use of hateful or insulting language and how moves to speed up our legal system may be resulting in injustices.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

02Above The Law2010041420100417

Programme 2.

Clive Anderson brings together some of the country's top judges and lawyers to discuss the legal issues of the day.

The second programme asks why certain groups of people, in certain situations, appear to be 'above the law' - granted immunity from prosecution or civil action.

MPs facing criminal charges over their expenses, under a legal convention dating back to the seventeenth century, may be able to argue that their behaviour is covered by parliamentary privilege.

This is the privilege which allows MPs and Peers to make slanderous remarks within the Houses of Parliament, without fear of being sued in the civil courts - so why is it being argued that it could be a defence from prosecution for criminal offences?

Diplomatic immunity protects embassy staff from prosecution for any offence from non-payment of parking fines to murder.

Why is this the case, and is the situation open to abuse?

Crown or state immunity, establishes that the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.

But can this immunity be extended to cover national security agents accused of torture on the grounds that they are 'agents of the state' or to protect heads of state accused of war crimes or corruption?

This programme also discusses immunity from prosecution granted to super-grasses and other defendants who provide evidence to the prosecution.

The producer is Brian King, and this is an Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Why do certain groups of people, in certain situations, appear to be 'above the law'?

Lawyers are arguing that the 3 MPs and a Peer facing charges over their expenses claims are protected from being prosecuted in the ordinary criminal courts, because of special parliamentary privilege.

This week, Clive Anderson and a panel of distinguished lawyers discuss the reasons why certain people, including MPs, judges, diplomats, heads of state and even in some circumstances criminals-turned-informants, seem to be above the law".

Why should an MP speaking in the House of Commons be able to slander another person without fear of being sued? Why are diplomats literally allowed to get away with murder?

How and why were these long-standing legal immunities established, and can they still be justified today?

"

03Libel2010042120100424

In this week's edition of Unreliable Evidence, Clive Anderson and guests discuss fears that Britain's libel laws are being used to stifle free speech.

There is particular concern about 'libel tourism' - that wealthy overseas litigants with little connection to this country are using the British courts to sue people they claim have defamed them.

It's been suggested that in relation to libel, Britain has become the legal equivalent of an offshore tax haven.

It's claimed that our libel laws are exerting a 'chilling effect' on doctors, scientists and campaigners; preventing them from speaking out against powerful organisations, for fear of being sued.

Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has announced plans for wide-reaching reforms of Britain's libel laws.

His proposals, building on a study by a working group of lawyers, academics and newspaper editors, are aimed at discouraging overseas claimants from launching cases in UK courts and the introduction of a 'public interest' defence to protect work done by investigative journalists, scientists and NGOs to inform the public.

The producer is Brian King, and this is an Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss concerns that Britain's libel laws are being abused.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss fears that Britain's libel laws are being used to stifle free speech.

04Jury Trial2010042820100501

The British tradition of trial by jury appears to be under threat.

Amendments to the Criminal Justice Act have allowed the first criminal trial to take place without a jury for over 400 years.

A survey recently revealed huge variations in jurors' perceptions of what is illegal, and a senior judge is recommending the removal of juries from libel trials.

Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC has decribed juries as a recipe for incompetence and bias".

But a major research study, conducted for the Ministry of Justice by Prof Cheryl Thomas, concluded that juries were fair, efficient and effective.

Are juries here to stay, or might they eventually be replaced by something else? And what might that be?

Clive Anderson brings together Prof Thomas, Sir Louis Blom Cooper, Chris Sallon QC and a Crown Court judge to discuss the options.

The producer is Brian King, and this is an Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson examines threats to the future of jury trials.

The British tradition of trial by jury is under threat.

And a senior judge is recommending the removal of juries from libel trials.

In the last in the current series of Unreliable Evidence, Clive Anderson and guests discuss the future of the jury.

Long-standing critic of the jury system, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper argues that the failure of juries to give reasons for their verdicts, makes them unaccountable.

He argues that defendants should at least be given the option to be tried by a judge alone.

Crown Court Judge Simon Tonking, and criminal barrister Chris Sallon QC, both support the jury system, though Judge Tonking admits he doesn't always agree with the verdicts returned by juries.

Prof Cheryl Thomas' report for the Ministry of Justice concluded that juries are fair, efficient and effective, but she concedes that there is room for improvement.

An Above the Title production for BBC Radio 4

Producers: Anne Tyerman Brian King.

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top legal minds discuss the future of jury trials"

Amendments to the Criminal Justice Act have allowed the first criminal trial to take place without a jury for over 400 years. And a senior judge is recommending the removal of juries from libel trials.

Long-standing critic of the jury system, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper argues that the failure of juries to give reasons for their verdicts, makes them unaccountable. He argues that defendants should at least be given the option to be tried by a judge alone.

Crown Court Judge Simon Tonking, and criminal barrister Chris Sallon QC, both support the jury system, though Judge Tonking admits he doesn't always agree with the verdicts returned by juries. Prof Cheryl Thomas' report for the Ministry of Justice concluded that juries are fair, efficient and effective, but she concedes that there is room for improvement.

198B0119980623

In the first of six programmes, barrister Clive Anderson and expert guests cut through the legal jargon to address the issues that affect anyone who uses the law.

1: The jury system.

198B0219980630

With the aid of expert guests, Clive Anderson - former barrister and grand inquisitor of the stars - cuts through the legal jargon to get to the heart of an issue which affects anyone who uses our cherished legal system.

198B0319980707
198B0419980714
198B0519980721
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204B01Judging The Truth20040406

This highly-acclaimed programme returns with Clive Anderson and eminent guests discussing key legal issues.

This week they examine one of the court's most important, and difficult, tasks.

How do judges and juries decide whether or not someone is telling the truth? Are judges more able in this than their lay counterparts? If so, why? If not, do they nonetheless think that they are? And can this skill be learned? Indeed, does the 'armchair psychology' operated by legal fact-finders bear any resemblance to actual contemporary psychological research?

204B02Royal Prerogative:20040413

Clive Anderson is joined by four eminent members of the legal profession to discuss Royal Prerogative.

204B03Mental Health And The Law20040420

The law treats those with mental disabilities quite differently from those who are physically disabled.

Are these discrepancies just? To what extent does, or should, the law take it upon itself to make decisions for those whom it deems unable to do so for themselves?

Presented by Clive Anderson

204B04Judicial Review20040427

is arguably the most important mechanism the citizen has to regulate the conduct of the State.

But from where does this power derive, and can it be removed? What happens when the courts find that a Minister has exceeded her powers; to whom is the judge himself accountable, and why has Judicial Review become the growth industry of the legal profession? Clive Anderson investigates.

204B05Diplomatic And State Immunity20040504

Clive Anderson is joined by four eminent members of the legal profession to discuss diplomatic and state immunity.

204B06The Legacy Of Lord Denning20040511

Clive Anderson and a panel of guests examine the legacy of one of the most controversial judges of the 20th Century.

204B07Sports And The Law20040518

Clive Anderson and a panel of four eminent legal guests discuss sport and the law.

204B08Common Law V Civil Law20040525

Clive Anderson presents the series looking at key legal issues.

Today four eminent legal guests will be discussing Common Law v Civil Law.

206B01Inadmissible Evidence20060411

>Should a murder trial jury hear evidence of a defendant's violent or abusive past? Would knowing about a defendant's criminal record make a jury more likely to convict? Bruce Houlder QC, Professor Sally Lloyd-Bostock, Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston and Lord Justice Alan Moses discuss the issue of inadmissible evidence.

206B02International Law20060418

Since the Second World War, Britain and the US have been at the forefront of developing international law, governing such disparate areas as war, trade, the environment and human rights.

But how much have these global agreements been damaged by events such as Guantanamo Bay and the Iraq War? Leading international lawyer Philippe Sands and former US State Department legal adviser William H Taft are among the guests debating the future of international law.

206B03Convicting Sex Offenders20060425

The conviction rate of defendants charged with rape or other sexual offences is at an all time low.

Research suggests ignorance and prejudice are still widespread among judges, juries and prosecutors.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, and other leading experts, discuss the need for changes in the legal system to reduce the number of acquittals.

206B04Human Rights, Five Years On20060502

The Human Rights Act has been criticised for everything from fuelling a compensation culture to protecting the right of serial murderers to have access to pornography.

Five years on from its incorporation into English law, has it advanced the rights of citizens, or have important social rights been sidelined by the Act?

A panel of legal experts considers the current state of human rights.

206B05A Supreme Court For The Uk20060509

The Law Lords are to be removed from their historic home in the House of Lords and placed in a new highest court in the land - the Supreme Court.

But could (or should) a new court mean new powers? As our unwritten constitution evolves and senior judges are increasingly required to decide matters of policy, might they eventually challenge the very sovereignty of Parliament? Or is it all just an expensive cosmetic exercise?

206B06A Criminal Code20060516

Criminal law in Britain is based on a huge jumble of statutory and common law, some of which goes back to the 17th Century.

Many criticise it as being incoherent and inconsistent.

The law relating to murder, for example, is seen as confusing and unfair, needing to be adapted on a case by case basis.

Should we not, like every other nation in Europe, have a clear, authoritative, modern written statement of our criminal law - a criminal code? Or would that now create more problems than it solves?

206B07Divorce In The 21st Century20060523

Do our divorce laws fail to reflect the realities of modern life? Do they create a lottery resulting in injustice, suffering and damage to parents and children alike?

A senior judge and other legal experts discuss equality in the divorce courts, pre-nuptial agreements and the legal pitfalls of co-habitation.

With Clive Anderson

206B08Foreign Law20060530

English common law has evolved over some 350 years, with judges basing their decisions on those made by predecessors.

But while we have successfully exported our legal system around the world, our own courts have been reluctant to take account of decisions made by foreign judges.

Is our law simply the best in the world, or might we improve upon our ancient legal doctrines by looking beyond our borders? Does our insularity work against the interests of ordinary litigants or is it just the best way of ensuring justice?

207B01Sentencing2007051620070519

An increase in gun and knife crime has brought inevitable calls for tougher sentences to deter violent criminals.

But there is little evidence of any real correlation between the severity of sentencing and the incidence of crime.

A panel of senior judges, lawyers and academics debate the options open to the courts.

207B02Internet Law2007052320070526

The internet has enriched our lives in many ways, but it has also generated many ways to break the law.

How well does our legal system protect us from the dangers of being libelled, defrauded, having our intellectual property stolen or being exposed to pornography or violent images?

A panel of senior judges, barristers and academics identify the shortcomings of the law and discuss possible solutions.

207B03The Attorney General2007053020070602

Is the post of Attorney General compatible with that of a senior politician? Lord Goldsmith's advice to the government has sometimes attracted considerable criticism, even from within his own party.

Should the job be done by someone entirely independent of politics, and all advice be made public? Lord Goldsmith himself joins a panel of critics and supporters to discuss the arguments.

207B04 LASTAppointing The Judges2007060620070609

A new Judicial Appointments Commission was set up a year ago to choose the next generation of judges in England and Wales.This independent body is looking for candidates from outside the traditional white middle-class gene pool, but is committed to appointing purely on merit.

Why do we need a new selection process and is anything changing?

207D01Asylum Seekers2007112820071201

The way we treat asylum seekers is seen as a measure of our commitment to defending victims of violence and persecution wherever it occurs.

Do our courts offer enough protection to those fleeing oppression? Senior lawyers and politicians discuss allegations that Britain often fails to provide sanctuary to those who need it most.

207D02Legal Aid2007120520071208

Cutbacks in the Government's legal aid budget have led to warnings that many vulnerable people are not able to get legal advice or proper representation and that this is resulting in injustices.

Key figures in the debate discuss demands for greater funding and the fairer distribution of the existing budget.

207D032007121220071215

There is concern that it is easy for British citizens to be dragged into foreign courts, yet almost impossible to extradite people from other countries to face trial over here.

Lawyers involved in high-profile cases of Britons accused of committing crimes in the US discuss the issue.

207D04 LASTYouth Justice2007121920071222

Record numbers of young people are currently being held in custody, with children as young as ten being brought to court for offences as trivial as stealing half a sausage roll or a marble.

Police stand accused of targeting young offenders in order to enhance their arrest figures.

Key figures involved discuss concerns that the system is in crisis and in need of a complete overhaul.

208B01The Laws Of War2008043020080503

Our armed forces no longer have exclusive power to try and punish their own.

In a series of high-profile cases over recent years, troops in action in Afghanistan and Iraq have had their actions scrutinised in ordinary British civil courts.

What legal standards should be applied to troops in the line of fire?

208B02Litigants In Person2008050720080510

The decision by Heather Mills to represent herself during her recent divorce from Sir Paul Mccartney drew attention to a growing problem in the courts system.

A panel of senior judges, a leading QC and Dave Morris, who represented himself in the McLibel case against McDonald's, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of going solo in the courtroom.

208B03Plea Bargaining20080514

is ingrained in the US legal system but occurs only informally in our courts.

What would we gain or lose by adopting a formal system over here? Should it be extended beyond fraud cases or might it lead to innocent people pleading guilty to avoid the risk of lengthy sentences at the end of a trial? Senior lawyers from both sides of the Atlantic discuss the issues.

208B04 LASTBail2008052120080524

Almost one in five murder suspects in Britain last year were alleged to have committed the offence while on bail.

Similar statistics have emerged for a whole range of serious crimes.

Should the courts tighten up on granting bail in order to protect the public or would this compromise a defendant's right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

210D01Lord Bingham20101222

In the first of a new series of Unreliable Evidence, a leading member of the former Labour Government reveals how his party's post 9/11 anti-terrorism policies were 'morally undermined' by one of the greatest judges since the Second World War.

Lord Bingham, who died earlier this year, had ruled that detention of foreign terror suspects without charge breached their human rights.

And after retiring in 2008, the former senior Law Lord argued that Britain's invasion of Iraq in 2003 had contravened international law.

Former Labour Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, joins Supreme Court Justices Lord Hope and Lady Hale, and legal academic Prof Philippe Sands QC to discuss Lord Bingham's impact on public life.

In a remarkably frank contribution, Lord Falconer pays tribute to Lord Bingham's brilliance but reveals how his judgments, particularly over the detention of terrorist suspects in Belmarsh, 'morally undermined' the Government and forced it to adopt less tough measures.

Lord Falconer also admits that he had been troubled by Lord Bingham's condemnation of the Government's decision to go to war against Iraq.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson's guests pay tribute to the late Lord Bingham.

210D02Legal Aid2010122920110101

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The second programme in the series explores the state of our legal aid system and examines how our access to justice could be affected by proposed Government cuts.

Guests include Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, who is responsible for the Government's legal aid policy, and the Bar Council chairman, Nicholas Green QC, who is a major critic of the cuts.

Widespread concern has been expressed about plans to cut nearly a third of the total legal aid budget.

It will mean that civil legal aid would only be routinely available in cases where life or liberty is at stake, or where there is a risk of serious physical harm or loss of home.

Funding for a wide range of disputes, including some divorce cases and clinical negligence, is to be axed.

The programme examines Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke's assertion that there is a "compelling case for going back to first principles in reforming legal aid".

Will the cuts reduce access to justice, closing the law to all but those with money?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss proposed Government cuts in the legal aid budget.

In this week's edition of Unreliable Evidence, Clive Anderson and a panel of top lawyers discuss concerns that proposed Government cuts to the legal aid budget will deny access to justice for the poor and weak in society.

The Ministry of Justice proposals target the civil and family law budget and will severely restrict legal aid available for divorce, welfare, employment, immigration, clinical negligence and personal injury cases.

Chair of the Bar Council, Nicholas Green QC warns that the cuts, which include a 10 per cent reduction in lawyers' fees, will create 'justice desserts' as barristers and solicitors increasingly opt out of legal aid work.

210D03Trade Unions2011010520110108

With strikes apparently back in fashion, Unreliable Evidence explores the law relating to trades unions and industrial action.

Wildcat strikes and secondary picketing are now illegal, and new legislation imposes complex rules on how and when strikes can be called.

Clive Anderson and guests, including a judge and the assistant general secretary of one of Britain's largest unions, discuss why both employers and trades unions are now, increasingly, fighting each other in the courts.

Also taking part are the senior barristers who have represented either side in the ongoing British Airways cabin staff dispute.

Alleged irregularities in the strike balloting process have already resulted in a series of court hearings, injunctions and high court appeals.

Both the TUC and the CBI are calling for reform of trades union law, but whom does the law currently favour - the bosses or the workers?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers discuss the legal issues of the day.

210D04Law Of The Sea2011011220110115

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top legal minds discuss the law of the sea, examining the problems of trying to achieve justice over three-quarters of the earth's surface in the face of competing national interests.

Are the high seas a legal wild west, or can national and international law be brought together to address such complex issues as piracy, oil spills, fishing quotas and Arctic seabed mining rights?

And even if adequate law exists, who is responsible for seeing that it is enforced?

Guests include Britain's former judge at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, David Anderson, and legal experts on piracy and environmental law.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers discuss the legal issues of the day.

211D01The Law And Government Spending Cuts2011101920111022

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The first programme in the new series looks at how the courts are increasingly being used to try to prevent government and local authorities from implementing spending cuts.

A large number of legal actions have already been launched challenging proposed cuts in such things as disability benefits, libraries, advice centres, national parks and school building.

Are such cases likely to be successful, or will they simply delay the implementation of the cuts or force reductions in other services? And are the courts being drawn into the political arena, effectively threatening the operation of government and sovereignty of parliament?

Claimant lawyers and those acting for government and local authorities discuss the issues.

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests discuss the major legal issues of the day.

In the first of a new series, Clive Anderson and guests discuss how the courts are increasingly being used to try to prevent government and local authorities from implementing spending cuts.

Clive is joined by former Justice Secretary Lord Falconer, human rights lawyer, Hugh Southey QC, former appeal court Judge, Sir Stephen Sedley and solicitor Louise Whitfield, who specialises in representing clients fighting spending cuts.

They discuss how human rights and equalities law can be used to stop government or local authorities from cutting back on such things as disability benefits, libraries, advice centres, national parks and school building.

While acknowledging that the courts have a legitimate role in ensuring that public bodies fulfil their legal obligations, he admits that he and his government colleagues were often more than a little peeved at being prevented from doing the things they wanted to do.

But how likely is it that challenges to spending cuts will be successful? Will such legal action simply delay the implementation of the cuts or force reductions in other services? And are the courts being drawn into the political arena, effectively threatening the sovereignty of parliament?

211D02Reporting The Law2011102620111029

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The second programme in the series explores growing concerns that press coverage of the judicial process is out of control, resulting in trial by media and a threat to the defendant's right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A central tenet of the British legal system is that justice should not just be done, it should be seen to be done, but does the media coverage of some high profile cases, such as that which followed the arrest of a suspect in the Joanna Yeats murder inquiry, overstep the mark?

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has warned that the Contempt of Court Act has had 'little or no effect' on reporting of cases.

Prejudicial press reporting has led to the collapse of trials, and the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has indicated that he may introduce tougher laws to control press reporting.

Despite numerous arrests, there continues to be blanket media coverage of the News of the World phone hacking story.

What effect will this have on any subsequent court proceedings?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

How press coverage of court cases can result in trial by media.

Guests include the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, who is responsible for initiating contempt of court proceedings against the media and has successfully prosecuted several national newspapers this year.

Challenged to take action more frequently, he says he is reluctant to act in a way which would inhibit freedom of speech, but says that if newspapers flagrantly disregard the law he would be forced to consider introducing tougher laws.

The other guests are Old Bailey judge Peter Rook, leading barrister Desmond Browne QC and Gill Phillips, a senior lawyer in the legal department of the Guardian.

211D03The Lawyer's Dilemma: Defending The Guilty, Suing The Innocent2011110220111105

Clive Anderson and some of the country's top lawyers and judges discuss legal issues of the day.

The third programme in the series explores the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers including those who are required to defend clients accused of rape, murder and other heinous crimes.

What should a lawyer do if he or she knows or strongly suspects that a client is guilty?

The brutal cross-examination in court of the parents of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler raised concerns about the rules that control the limits to which a lawyer can go to defend a client in court.

Are the rules fair?

Solicitors and barristers involved in both criminal and civil cases discuss how they work on the knife edge between different principles which make competing calls on them.

Should their actions be more closely regulated or can we rely on their professional judgment?

Producer: Brian King

An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.

Clive Anderson and guests explore the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers.

Among Clive's guests is Jeremy Moore, the solicitor who had briefed the defence barrister in the Millie Dowler murder trial.

He staunchly defends the cross-examination tactics.

The other guests are leading barristers Chris Sallon QC and Dinah Rose QC and Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Alan Moses, who defend the legal profession against a range of criticisms levelled by the public.

Clive Anderson asks if the behaviour of lawyers needs to be more closely regulated or if we can we rely on their professional judgment?