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10 November 2007
Cardiff University will mark National Pro Bono Week, with a public debate to increase awareness of miscarriages of justice.
Cardiff University, together with Bristol University, is one of the leading universities involved in the Innocence Network UK. The Network supports universities and students in working with practising lawyers on cases of long term prisoners maintaining innocence who have thus been enduring life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Julie Price, Cardiff Law School said: "In the true spirit of public debate the event will allow all attendees to voice their thoughts and views concerning the matter and the justice system in general. The event will also serve the purpose of obtaining a true gauge of the sentiment of students, academics and the wider community."
The evening will comprise two debates. The first will be a floor debate open to speakers from the audience adjudicated by a panel of judges from the legal community, Cardiff University Debating Society and the Cardiff University Law Society. The topic under consideration is the maxim, "This House believes that it is better that eleven guilty men walk free rather than one innocent soul be convicted."
The second debate will be a resolution debate where representatives of the Justice System in England and Wales and the Innocence Network UK will state their cases on whether "police officers should be allowed to escape liability for mistakes made in the pursuit of justice." The audience will vote to decide on whether the resolution ‘stands’ or ‘falls’.
Guest speakers include Dr Michael Naughton founder of the Innocence Network UK and Michael O’Brien of the "Cardiff Newsagent Three", who wrongly served a sentence of 11 years before being released. In addition to these advocates for change there will be several members of the criminal justice system including Stephen Harmes, Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service.
The event is hosted by Cardiff University Debating Society, Cardiff Law School, the Innocence Network UK (INUK), and the Cardiff University Law Society in association with the South Wales Trainee Solicitor Group at the Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Colum Drive, CF24 3UW from 6:30pm. Tickets will be available on the door. All proceeds will go to the Innocence Network UK and the Cardiff Law School Pro Bono Scheme.
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