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P.A.J. Waddington on jury service

By Professor J. Waddington
Fortunately, I have escaped the obligation of performing jury service, but I know many who have been less fortunate. The stories they tell of their experience hardly fosters confidence in this institution that enjoys such a position of unquestioned pre-eminence in the Common Law criminal trial. They tell of ignorant, utterly disengaged, deeply prejudiced people, often more anxious to escape the confines of the court and resume their lives, than committed to doing justice.

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Disquiet at the Mark Duggan inquest jury’s conclusion

By P.A.J. Waddington
Many of those who have commented on the Mark Duggan inquest jury verdict have expressed disquiet at the jury’s conclusion that whilst the killing by police officers was lawful, Duggan was not holding the gun at the time he was shot. This is not as bizarre as it might first appear.

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Riots, meaning, and social phenomena

By P.A.J. Waddington
The academic long vacation offers the opportunity to catch–up on some reading and reflect upon it. Amongst my reading this summer was the special edition of Policing and Society devoted to contemporary rioting and protest.

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The Cuadrilla fracking site: a policing dilemma

By P.A.J. Waddington
I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant, but the current controversy concerning Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Balcombe, West Sussex, is eerily similar to one of the five scenarios that form the foundations for the book I and my colleagues, John Kleinig and Martin Wright have recently published.

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Assembling a coherent picture in the Daniel Pelka case

By P.A.J. Waddington
The appalling murder of Daniel Pelka by his mother, Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, has yet again been followed by soul-searching and a storm of criticism directed at ‘the authorities’ for their failure to protect Daniel from the child abuse that eventually led to his death.

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A trial of criminology

By P.A.J. Waddington
The British Society of Criminology annual conference was held this year at the University of Wolverhampton and its centrepiece was to hold a trial of criminology. Presided over by His Honour, Judge Michael Challinor, both the ‘prosecution’ and ‘defence’ wore wigs and gowns, and there was the usual bout of examination and cross-examination of witnesses.

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MMR panic in Swansea and policing

By P.A.J. Waddington
I often think that we learn more from the experiences of those whose lives are different from our own than we do from those who share our experiences. Distance often confers clarity and gives a greater appreciation of context, enabling similarities and differences to become visible. This occurred to me recently as the news of the increasing measles epidemic in Swansea began to grow more alarming.

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Plebgate

By P.A.J. Waddington
“‘Pleb’–gate” — as the altercation between Andrew Mitchell, MP, and police officers guarding Downing Street has become known — continues to rumble along. It seems to me that there is a huge unanswered question lurking therein. It is this: what on earth are police officers doing providing an armed guard for the Prime Minister?

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