• Why the age of sexual consent continues to be a worldwide challenge

    Michael Richards, Edge Hill University France is considering changing its legal age of consent so that sex before the age of 15 is automatically considered rape after recent child sex cases raised serious concerns. At the moment, prosecutors have to prove that the underage sex was non-consensual to obtain a rape conviction. The change is […]

  • Virtual reality experience helps demystify the family court process

    As part of the Greater Manchester Court plan, a new virtual reality court experience has been designed to help demystify the family court process. The project, supported by government and the judiciary, has been described as pioneering – claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK. The purpose is to help children, involved […]

  • How it feels to be diagnosed with autism later in life

    Michael Richards, Edge Hill University “He is wired differently to you and me, this child of mine. He doesn’t like loud noises, or dark spaces, or strangers touching his head”. These are the first lines from a poem a mother penned about her son 11-year-old son who has Asperger’s syndrome. Sophie Billington goes on to […]

  • Some Christian groups still promote ‘gay conversion therapy’ – but their influence is waning

    Chris Greenough, Edge Hill University The idea that to be gay is to be sick and in need of a cure might seem archaic and bizarre by mainstream standards, but among a few fundamentalist Christian groups, it lives on today. Recently, one such group, the Core Issues Trust, booked a cinema in London’s West End […]

  • The James Bulger case should not set the age of criminal responsibility

    Sean Creaney, Edge Hill University; Roger Smith, Durham University, and Stephen Case, Loughborough University On February 12, 1993, two-year-old James Bulger was abducted and murdered by 10-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. It was a crime that stunned the world and the shadow of it still looms large over British culture and the English justice […]

  • Why we need to review joint enterprise laws

    Joint enterprise is a controversial common law doctrine. It was claimed – in a recent debate secured by the Labour MP Lucy Powell – joint enterprise has ‘produced one of the biggest and most widespread miscarriages of justice ever to face our justice system’. Many MPs backed calls for a review. Put simply, joint enterprise is when […]

  • Banning piercings for under 18s may be medically a good idea, but it takes away choice and self-esteem

    Michael Richards, Edge Hill University It is now an offence for under-18s in Wales to get any intimate piercings – meaning tongue, genitals and nipples. One of the main arguments for this ban is that young people under 18 are still physically developing and that these kinds of piercings can stifle that development and lead […]

  • Why we still need to teach young people about the Holocaust

    Michael Richards, Edge Hill University; Dr. Anna Bussu, Edge Hill University, and Dr Peter Leadbetter, Edge Hill University It has been more than 70 years since the Nazi-occupied Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated. Auschwitz was the most notorious of all the concentration camps – where it is believed that more than a million people were […]

  • Young gang members also at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder

    Grace Robinson, Edge Hill University Until recently, researchers have associated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with being a victim of trauma. Now, new findings from the US suggest that the act of killing or perpetrating violence could be even more traumatic than being a victim. A condition often experienced by war veterans, PTSD can cause nightmares, […]

  • Online abuse on Facebook and Twitter can’t be solved by regulation alone

    Laura Bliss, Edge Hill University The severity of abuse conducted online during 2017’s general election has brought the issue into sharp focus for politicians, some of whom have urged the prime minister to legislate against Facebook, Twitter and Google to make them liable for content posted on their sites. Complaints about online harassment in the […]