Law on Trial: Does the legal system fail victims of crime?

Hillsborough Stadium disaster

In recent years, potential miscarriages of justice have received a lot of media attentionand have caused some legal commentators to turn the spotlight on the English Legal System and question whether it is fit for purpose, says Clare Lewis, senior lecturer in Law.

In the Law on Trial module you get the opportunity to look in depth at some of the assumptions made about the legal system and evaluate them in light of controversial cases such as the Stephen Lawrence case and the Hillsborough tragedy.

You will be encouraged to think critically about the legal system which is presented for the most part as a neutral, impartial, independent and fair process. 

You will analyse and evaluate a number of topical case studies from recent media determining what went wrong, who the culpable parties were and considering the wider implications for the legal system. 

You take part in debates and discussions in classes and will be required to complete a number of topic reviews as part of your assessment. Put the law on trial by studying this module: the evidence will be put before you over the course of the module but the verdict will be yours!


5 topics you will examine:

  • Human rights
  • Equality and discrimination
  • The law’s treatment of gender
  • The law’s treatment of poverty
  • Access to justice



 Image shows scarves and messages left on the gates of Anfield on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Photographer: Ad Vaughan. iStock Editorial