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Senior Lecturer in Law
Neil’s research interests are in evidence in serious sex offences. More specifically, his research is focused around evidentiary issues surrounding the relevance and admissibility of prior sexual history in sex offences. Neil is exploring the tensions between judicial and academic constructions of relevance. He is also examining judicial decision making and judicial discretion in the conduct of trials, and the relevance and admissibility of evidence of bad character. Neil’s research was extensively cited with approval in the leading House of Lords case of R v A (No.2)  UKHL 25. His seminal and influential work in this area has resulted in him being referred to as '[t]he s.41 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act guru ...' (Acknowledgment in HH Judge Peter Rook QC and Robert Ward, Sexual Offences Law and Practice)
Evidence in Serious Sex Offences
In 2004, Neil conducted a research project 'The Relevance and Admissibility of Sexual History Evidence in Serious Sex Offence Cases' which was part funded by the Criminal Bar Association. The project involved conducting individual and small group interviews with 77 judges in order to explore judicial decision-making in relation to the relevance and admissibility of sexual history evidence. The research report 'Judicial Perspectives on Section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999' was published by the Criminal Bar Association in 2004. In 2008, Neil also produced a research report for the Judicial Studies Board titled 'Section 41 Applications'.
Neil has produced a number of journal articles on evidence in serious sex offences. He has also produced a number of case comments in this field. The complete list can be found on Neil's research profile.
Importance of research outside academia
Impacts on practitioners and professional services:
Invited Paper, 'Problems in the Operation of Section 41 YJCE 1999', presented at Gray’s Inn Serious Sex Offences Seminar (training for senior barristers), September 2008
Invited Paper, 'Section 41 YJCE 1999', for Judicial Studies Board Serious Sexual Offences Seminar (training for judges), 2008
Extensive citations and acknowledgment in 'Sexual Offences Law and Practice' (4th ed, 2010), the leading practitioner text on Sexual Offences Law
Citation in 2008 Victorian Bar Continuing Legal Education Program (Australia), Stanley Isaiah 'Case Law Demonstrating the Process of Reasoning and Methodology Applied in the Determination of Human Rights Matters'
Policy debate has been stimulated or informed by research:
Discussion and citation in 'Connections and Disconnections: Assessing evidence knowledge and practice in responses to rape' Government Equalities Office (April 2010). Available online at www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/Connections%20and%20Disconnections.pdf
Improved public understanding of social issues:
BBC Radio Wales interviews on Rape and Sexual Offences Law Reform: January 2008, July 2008 and May 2011.
Cited in case law:
Neil’s research was extensively cited with approval in the leading House of Lords case of R v A (No.2)  UKHL 25.
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