The launch of the Assize Seminars on Criminal Law will take place on 12 May 2017 in Oxford. The seminars will provide a space for cutting edge academic work to play a practical role in understanding and developing the law. They will be 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 will be 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 launch event will be in the Magdalen College Auditorium, Oxford. The first event is sponsored by the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, and there is no charge for attending the seminar or the dinner. Places will be limited to 40 to promote effective discussion so you are advised to sign up early.


Registration is now open.

Register here


15.00   Welcome by Dr Matthew Dyson, with a Prologue by Prof. Andrew Ashworth CBE QC FBA, Vinerian Professor of Law Emeritus; Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

15.15   “Why conditional intent should count as intent”

Dr Rebeccca Williams, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Tutorial Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Oxford;

Comment by Mr Julian Knowles QC, Matrix Chambers.

16.15-16.45 Break for refreshments.

16.45   "Is our criminal appeal system fit for purpose?"

Prof. John Spencer CBE QC (Hon) Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge; Bye-Fellow of Murray Edwards and Life Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge; Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Comment by Prof. David Ormerod QC (Hon), Professor of Criminal Justice at UCL; Law Commissioner for England and Wales; Door Tenant at 18 Red Lion Court and Bencher of Middle Temple.

17.45-18.00 Break

18.00   “Are freedom, capacity and agreement always essential components of consent?"

Mr Paul Jarvis, 6KBW College Hill

Comment by HH Peter Rook QC, sometime judge of the Central Criminal Court; Judicial Fellow of the UCL Judicial Institute.

19.00 Drinks (New Room Anteroom, Magdalen College)

19.30 Dinner (New Room, Magdalen College)


on behalf of the Assize Seminar Committee

Mark Dsouza (UCL), Matthew Dyson (Oxford, Chair), Paul Jarvis (CBA), Findlay Stark (Cambridge)