The ILCR and ‘Talking Law’
September 12, 2016 Leave a comment
Blog written by Dr Will Eves
In February 2016 the ILCR received an AHRC 10th Anniversary Public Engagement Grant for a project entitled ‘Talking Law’. The aim was to unite scholars and legal professionals with members of public in a discussion about the role of law in our society.
This goal was achieved through a dramatisation of the trial of Patrick Hamilton, who was tried and executed for heresy in St Andrews in 1528, followed by a public debate about the legal issues raised by the trial which are still relevant today.
The sell-out event took place at the Byre theatre in St Andrews on 6 May 2016. Hamilton’s trial was re-enacted by student actors, and a panel comprising a judge, a barrister and a retired assistant chief constable then discussed the issues which resonated with their own experience of the legal profession. Questions were then invited from an audience of both academic and non-academic attendees and matters such as freedom of speech and the impact of the death penalty on society were discussed.
A companion website has been created which contains background information, guides to further reading, virtual reconstructions of the key locations involved in the trial, quizzes and other interactive material. The project also received national media coverage through a feature on the BBC News website. A pitch for a follow-up radio series, bringing the ‘Talking Law’ format to a wider audience, is currently being developed.