Speaking to some of the country’s leading figures in criminal law Dr. Stockdale explored recent developments in the law relating to the admissibility and scope of expert evidence in criminal proceedings. This is particularly topical following changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules and the introduction of a new Criminal Practice Direction. His lecture focused heavily on how such evidence can be tested and challenged with particular reference to evidentiary reliability and impartiality. He identified several potential amendments to the Rules and the Practice Direction which he argued could enhance their utility.
Dr. Stockdale was described by the Criminal Bar Association as one of the country’s leading academics in the area of evidence law, He was joined at the Old Bailey by colleagues from Northumbria’s Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (NCECJS) – a nationally-renowned research centre covering the legal system in the UK and other European and common law countries.
James Mulholland Q.C., Director of Education at the Criminal Bar Association, introduced the lecture.
Dr. Stockdale said: “Being invited to lecture at the Old Bailey in front of so many eminent criminal lawyers was a huge honour, especially on such an important and topical area of recent legal change. It also gave us the opportunity to discuss the research of the NCECJS with members of the Criminal Bar Association and to invite other legal practitioners to join our growing number of external members”.
In its 2011 report on expert evidence in criminal cases the Law Commission made a number of recommendations which have now been introduced into criminal procedure. NCECJS contributed to this consultation process, was referenced several times in the Law Commission’s final report and is at the forefront of research exploring what the subsequent changes mean for criminal justice. Northumbria Law School provides expert guidance on these changes via its teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate students. NCECJS also plans to apply its ongoing research by developing expert evidence training for legal practitioners and expert witnesses.
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