Murmuring Judges Context

Murmuring Judges Context 

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  • Created on: 01-04-12 13:06

Hare Political and Social Influence


§  “completed a trilogy about British Institutions at precisely the moment that British institutions were finally admitted to be on the brink of collapse”

§  “…my intention in the play was never to theorize the overall state of my three institutions. It has been much more to portray the lives of the people trying to survive in them”

§  “At a moment in our history when Conservative government have been trying to force dramatic changes on this country. I did feel some special sympathy for those luckless people who were charged with the enforcement of those changes.”

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Lawyers/Judicial System/ Bar/ Barrister/ Legal Pro

Barry on Lawyers: Act 1, Scene 5

“They don’t know their prejudiced… and that was my take on what happened yesterday… the judge thought, I’m being nice, I’m being decent, I’m giving him less than the others. In spite of the fact that he’s Irish.”

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Lawyers/Judicial System/ Bar/ Barrister/ Legal Pro

The Guilford pub bombings, 5th October 1974

·         Feelings against IRA were high

·         The judge, Mr Justice Donaldson said that he wished that they had been charged with treason- which at that time still carried the death penalty

·         July 1990, the Home Secretary, David Waddington published report- original trial judge, was also criticised for his handling of the case

The Birmingham pub bombings, 21 Nov 1974

·         Second appeal 1988- appeal judge strongly supported the original conviction

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Movement towards reform of the court system in the

  • ·        Since  1970s debates over the way Bar held monopoly over presenting cases in courts

·         1984 THE LAW SOCIETY- pressed for solicitors to present cases- met with strong opposition from the Bar

·         1986 MARRE COMMITTEE- set up by government for issues regarding Bar monopoly- work compromised by resistance from committee members who were members of the Bar

·         January 1989 GREEN PAPER- open up legal services to ‘market forces’ –                Privatisation

·         1990 COURT AND LEGAL SERVICES ACT- any qualified person could gain rights of audience- positions as judges below High Court Judge applied for in same way a normal job: solicitors as well as Bar could become judgesretirement age lowered 

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Northern Ireland-Related Terrorism in 1970s and 19

Irish Society  

·         Republican or Nationalist community- mostly Roman Catholics- Wanted Northern Ireland to be reunited with the Republic of Ireland- terrorist group Irish Republican Army IRA

·         Unionist Community- mostly Protestant- Wanted Northern Ireland to remain under the government of the UK- terrorist group Unionist terrorist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force UVF

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The Guilford Pub Bombings, 5th Oct 1974

  •   IRA left 2 timer detonated bomb in 2 pubs in Guilford, Surrey  5 killed, 65 injured

·         Pubs targeted used by members of British Army- often targeted when on tours of duty in Northern Ireland

·         October 1975- FOUR people convicted sentenced to life imprisonment with recommendation of at least 30 years- Judge believed should be charged with TREASON

·         Claims of innocence throughout 1970s and 1980s

·         1987: Home Secretary: Unlikely the Guilford Four guilty but there was not enough evidence for an appeal

·         1989: Police manipulated statements the four made when in custody- altered the evidence- lied

·         Four were released in 1989- after serving 15 years prison 

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The Birmingham Pub Bombings, 21st Nov 1974

  •  IRA again left timer detonated bombs in 2 pubs in centre of Birmingham  21 killed, 162 injured End of following day- 6 people arrested

·         During trial showed signs of injury- 14 prison officers arrested for assault but later cleared

·         6 convicted on the basis of earlier statements they made to the police- claimed they were under duress and disputed forensic evidence that claimed to show they had handled explosives

·         1st appeal 1976: failed

·         1997: 6 pressed charges against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad- accusing them of using threats and actual violence in extracting confessions: unsuccessful

·         2nd appeal: mid 1980s TV documentary and book stating innocence: judge strongly supported original conviction

·         3rd appeal 1991: successful:  police fabricated evidence and supressed others, forensic evidence seriously flawed  (scientists also admitted that forensic tests used to confirm 2/6 been handling explosive could have been produced from handling cigarettes)

·         Paddy Hill: “for 16 and a half years we have been used as political scapegoats… the police told us from the start they knew we hadn’t done it. They didn’t care who had done it.”

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Prison System in the 1980s

Beckett on State of prisons:

“Watch the **** packages” “only by us, Miss Platt. It’s left to us”

·         Public spending in 1980s- during Thatcher conservative government 1979-90- squeezed and financing in prison was kept low despite prison population steadily rising during the period

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Prison System in the 1980s

1st April 1990- Strangeway Prison Riots in Manchester- 25 days, 1 prisoner killed, 147 prison officers and 47 prisoners injured

·         Led to copycat riots in 20 other prisons throughout April most serious being at Glen Parva and at Bristol and Dartmoor Prisons

·         Prisoners: justified protest against appalling conditions in which they were being kept and often brutal treatment handed out by their keepers

·         Paul Taylor: 10 year jail sentence for his role as ringleader, proud of the part he played in the fight for better conditions

·         Prison’s governor: it was an “explosion of evil.”

·         Unprecedented media attention-images of rioters on roof were beamed around the world- world’s press camped outside Victorian jail


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Prison System in the 1980s

·          51 criminal trialspublic enquiry proved the most searching examination of penal policy in British history

·         Lord Woolf’s public enquiry: conditions inside Strangeways prison- built in 1868 was intolerable- government failed to provide the prison with sufficient resources to maintain reasonable standards in prisons generally as prison population increased- reference to end of “slopping out”- prisoners had to urinate and defecate in buckets in their cells- introduction of telephones on landing so prisoners could keep in closer touch with their families

·         Woolf’s report called for government ministers to commit to provide proper sanitation in cells

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s


Barry on Police Act 2, Scene 3“We’re dealing with scum. And we’re not being given the power we need to deal with them. A policeman without power, that’s a contradiction”  

Sandra on Police Act 2, Scene 6“Your own boss. It’s you and the public. There’s no one to tell you you’re getting it wrong.”

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

The Guilford Pub Bombings, 5th Oct 1974

·         1989: Police manipulated statements the four made when in custody- altered the evidence to fit to the case they wanted- they had lied

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

The Birmingham Pub Bombings, 21st Nov 1974

·         During trial showed signs of injury- 14 prison officers arrested for assault but later cleared

·         6 convicted on the basis of earlier statements they made to the police- claimed they were under duress and disputed forensic evidence that claimed to show they had handled explosives

·         1997: 6 pressed charges against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad- accusing them of using threats and actual violence in extracting confessions: unsuccessful

·         3rd appeal 1991: successful:  police fabricated evidence and supressed others, forensic evidence seriously flawed  (scientists also admitted that forensic tests used to confirm 2/6 been handling explosive could have been produced from handling cigarettes)

·         Paddy Hill: “for 16 and a half years we have been used as political scapegoats… the police told us from the start they knew we hadn’t done it. They didn’t care who had done it.”

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

Brixton Riots 1981

·         Blames racial tension

·         Local black man stabbed but was perceived not to have received adequate medical attention having been taken into police custody

·         Almost 300 police officers and 60 civilians injured

·         Lord Scarman called for a new emphasis on a community policing and said more people from an ethnic minorities should be recruited to the force

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984  PACE

·         Created a clear legislative framework specified the powers and responsibilities of the police and rights of the members with whom the police come into contact.

·          Codes of practice covering a wide range of police activities- in exercising the power to stop and search members of the public and what records must be kept of such incidents

·         Act made police officers who contravened the terms of the act legally liable

·         Failure to follow the codes of practise would lead to evidence being inadmissible in court and/or disciplinary procedures within the force

·         Police officer: act restricted the way they could investigate crimes compared to their previous freedom

·         PACE introduced bureaucracy into system- large volumes of paperwork which officers claim leads to them to spend much more time in the police stations than out on the beat

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

The Creation of the Crown Prosecution service 1986

·         Until mid-1980s arresting officers responsible for seeing prosecution from the moment of arrest through to conviction or acquittal

·         Sense of ownership and satisfaction (HARE’S INTERVIEW Asking Around) largely disappeared as a result of the creation of the CPS

·         CPS took respsonsibility for whether a case was bought on trial

·         Assessed: likelihood a conviction, public interest, value for money to prosecute

·         Arresting officer essentially ‘handed over’

·         Lead to frustration when CPS decided to take no action 

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

Plus Programme 1989

·         Launched to improve the corporate image and quality of the service of the Met police. It significantly altered attitudes within the MPS and included the statement of common purpose and values 

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The Police during 1970s and 1980s

Hare Asking Around

·         Disillusion with the irrelevance or antagonism of government was considerably more vocal and more profound

·         Government by throwing more money at them made them more cynical

·         Policemen had been deeply marked by their experience of being asked to help destroy miner’s strike

·         Police attracted vociferous hatred of people whom they had been known from childhood to be decent and law abiding. 

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Comments

Bridget Johnson

Great!  Thanks so much for posting this resource.  I will definitely use it with my Ss.

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