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The Assize Seminars provide a space for cutting-edge academic work to play a practical role in understanding and developing the law. They are a chance to challenge, debate and refine criminal justice, providing a bridge from academia to criminal legal practice. Just like the Assize of old, the seminars are peripatetic, in this case rotating over the next 18 months between three leading academic institutions: Oxford, Cambridge and University College London, all with the support of the Criminal Bar Association. The first Assize seminar was held in Oxford in May 2017, and the second seminar was held at University College London in November 2017. The fourth Assize seminar will take place in Oxford on 9 November 2018.

The third Assize seminar took place in Cambridge on 27 April 2018, with support from the Faculty of Law's Impact Fund. The programme for the event is provided below, together with audio recordings of most of the presentations.


16.00-16.05: Introduction

16.05-16.50: Session 1

Speaker: Professor Nicola Padfield QC (Hon), University of Cambridge, "What is a Sentence?" 

Commentator: Professor Andrew Ashworth QC (Hon), University of Oxford

16.50-17.35: Session 2

Speaker: Professor Ian Dennis, University College London, "Prosecution Disclosure: Are the problems insoluble?"

A copy of Professor Dennis's paper 'Prosecution Disclosure: are the problems insoluble?' (240k PDF) is available for download. Please note that this paper is a work in progress and not to be cited without the permission of the author.

Commentator: Alex Chalk MP

17.35-18.00: Tea and Coffee

18.00-18.45: Session 3

Speaker: Francis FitzGibbon QC, Doughty Street Chambers, "Difficulties in Getting Into the Court of Appeal Following a Change in Law"

Commentator: The Hon. Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb 

18.45-20.00: Wine reception, The Atrium, Faculty of Law, David Williams Building


Findlay Stark (