Professor asks "When, if ever, should we 'lock 'em up and throw the key away?'"

University news

Monday 18 November 2013

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A free professorial lecture exploring the criminal justice system in modern Britain is taking place at Coventry University on Monday 25 November.

Barry Mitchell, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at Coventry University, will be analysing the current policy on sentencing in the most serious cases of murder in England and Wales in his lecture entitled “When, if ever, should we 'lock 'em up and throw the key away?’”

In July this year the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that English law currently breaches Article 3 of the Convention on Human Rights by not providing an adequate system for reviewing cases of convicted murderers who have been ordered to spend the rest of their natural lives in prison. The Westminster government now has to decide how to respond to this ruling.

In his lecture Professor Mitchell will critically examine the existing arrangements for sentencing in the most serious cases of murder, and how they came about. He will identify what he regards as the shortcomings, and will then suggest what reforms should be undertaken to produce a more satisfactory response by the criminal justice system.

The free professorial lectures at Coventry University, which are open to all, are a series of informative talks from its professors, drawing on their expertise to promote thought, conversation and questions on a diverse range of current affairs.

Professor Barry Mitchell’s lecture, “When, if ever, should we 'lock 'em up and throw the key away?’”, takes place between 4pm and 5pm on Monday 25 November at the Goldstein lecture theatre, Alan Berry Building, Coventry University CV1 5FB. The lecture will be followed by refreshments and a light buffet.

Attendance is free but places must be booked in advance. Places can be booked online.

For further information, please contact Mark Farnan, communications assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or email