Laura Hoyano’s empirical study Cross-Examination of Sexual Assault Complainants on Previous Sexual Behaviour: Views from the Barristers’ Row was published by the Criminal Bar Association on 29 November 2018. The report (with errata corrected) may be downloaded here.

Laura Hoyano's career in academia and at the Canadian and English Bars focuses on the intersections between areas of law commonly regarded as disconnected: Child Abuse and Criminal, Tort, Human Rights, Family and Evidence Law (taking a comparative approach);  Evidence Law and Human Rights; Medical Law & Ethics, Tort Law and Human Rights. In 2008 her book with Caroline Keenan, Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries (OUP 2007), examining how allegations of child abuse are litigated in criminal, family, tort, and human rights law, and the rules of evidence, across 76 jurisdictions, was awarded the first Inner Temple Book Prize for outstanding contribution to legal scholarship and public policy, a competition open to all legal publications in English in the world in the previous four years. The OUP published an updated paperback edition in 2010, and a further complete edition, single-authored by Laura, will be published by the OUP in 2019.  The new edition adds the Republic of Ireland as a 77th jurisdiction, and a new chapter on public inquiries and historic allegations of abuse. See further below under Research Interests and Publiations.

Laura graduated from the University of Alberta in Canada with two degrees in medieval history before being converted to law, receiving a JD (Gold Medallist) from the University of Alberta. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 1983 after clerking at the Alberta Court of Appeal, and practised commercial, insurance, public inquiries and mmedical law and catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death law for 10 years, interrupted by a sabbatical year in 1990-91 to read for the B.C.L. (First Class) at Balliol College, Oxford funded by the National Viscount Bennett Fellowship (awarded by the Canadian Bar Association). In 1994 she moved to England to an academic appointment at the Law Faculty of the University of Bristol, continuing part-time practice at the Alberta Bar. From 1999 to 2013 she held a Tutorial Fellowship at Wadham College and a joint appointment  (CUF) at the Faculty of Law, Oxford University. In October 2013 her Wadham post was converted to a Senior Research Fellowship to allow her to concentrate on her research. She continues with her usual Faculty duties as an Associate Professor, teaching Tort Law, Medical Law & Ethics (BCL/MJur), Children and Families and the State (BCL/MJur) (focusing on child abuse and public inquiries), and supervising postgraduate research in all of her research fields.

Laura is a tenant at Red Lion Chambers, a leading criminal and regulatory set of barristers in London, where her practice mirrors her research interests. In 2009 Laura was elected as a Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, where she serves on the Education Committee and the Equality, Diversity& Social Mobility Committee.  She chairs the Human Rights Subgroup of the South Eastern Circuit's Access to Justice Working Party, which provides a 'rapid response' to government initiatives in the field of human rights. She has conducted empirical research for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office on prosecutorial decision-making and on child abuse prosecutions,  and has been a consultant for the Ministry of Justice, Home Office,  the Scottish Government, the Child Rapporteur for Ireland, the Norwegian Law Commission, and Oxfam. She chaired the Independent Advisory Committee on Child Maltreatment convened by Action for Children, which drafted a new offence of child maltreatment, part of which was enacted by Parliament. She also provides advice on law reform to the NSPCC, Action for Children, and the Loudoun Trust (which seeks to provide reliable research and educative materials on the root causes of child abuse). In December 2012 she was invited by the Verma Committee on Amendments to the Criminal Law, appointed as a consequence of  the furore sparked by a gang rape and murder in December 2012, to advise them on reform of substantive sexual assault offences for adults, children and other vulnerable persons, and a range of issues pertaining to more effective trials of such offences, including special measures for vulnerable witnesses; her contribution was acknowledged in the Report and in the national press conference held by Chief Justice Verma. She was consulted by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies and the NSPCC with regard to their enquiries into the investigation of sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile and legal and practice responses to the issues raised. She is also frequently consulted by the Ministry of Justice, the College of Policing, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Criminal Bar Association on a range of issues relating to child abuse and exploitation prosecutions, and the intersection of criminal justice and human rights more generally. For several years she was on the case commentary team for the Criminal Law Review, commenting on criminal judgments involving sex offences, child abuse and vulnerable witnesses. She is frequently contacted by national and international news media for commentary and background information on legal issues, particularly child abuse, including the BBC, Channel Four,  The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, and New Scientist.

Laura has provided training and lectures, particularly on the handling of vulnerable witnesses, for the Criminal Bar Association, Middle Temple, the South Eastern Circuit  and other Bar Circuits,  the Family Bar Association, the Judicial Studies College, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (on neuroscience and young offenders),  the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.


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  • Laura Hoyano, Hoyano & Keenan's Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries by Laura Hoyano (2nd edition (this edition being single authored by Laura Hoyano) Oxford University Press 2021) (forthcoming)
  • Laura Hoyano, ''Chapter D14 Special Measures and Anonymity Orders' in David Ormerod QC and David Perry QC (eds), Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2021 (OUP 2020)
  • Laura Hoyano, 'ABE 2016/19 Has Gone AWOL' (2020) Counsel 38
    The March 2011 edition of Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures (‘ABE 2011’) is elderly. Moreover it is dangerously out of date on the law on special measures, yet it is still the Government-mandated guidance for police and social workers interviewing vulnerable witnesses. This article lists those errors, and indicates the changes which the draft latest edition, awaiting ministerial signature for more than 4 years, would make to bring the Guidance into compliance with current law. Laura Hoyano is a contributor to that draft (and every draft of the Guidance since the first edition in 2001).
  • Laura Hoyano and Nicholas Bamforth, 'ECHR and Common Law Accountability for Failure to Investigate State Collusion: the Northern Ireland "Legacy Cases"' (2020) 136 Law Quarterly Review 24 [Case Note]
    Discusses, and places in historical context, the judgments of the UKSC in Finucane [2019] UKSC 7 and in Jordan [2019] UKSC 9 concerning the breaches by the UK to conduct timely and effective investigations nto state collusion in the killings of victims on both sides of The Troubles under ECHR Art 2. Describes what now seems to be required to reopen a closed investigation under Art 2 (not confined to pre-2000 deaths), and what features are required of an investigation to comply with the standards set by Art 2. Also discusses the UKSC's handling of the emergent common law doctrine of legitimate expectations.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Judge-alone trials can deliver justice – but only if defendants choose them' (2020) Counsel 32
    Judge-alone trials should not be immediately discarded as inevitably inimical to the interests of justice and have been operating uncontroversially in Canada as an expansion of defence rights for many decades.
  • Laura Hoyano and John Riley, 'Prosecution strategies in AR cases Parts (1) and (2)' (2020) Counsel August: 26; Sept: 31
    This two-part series from Laura Hoyano and John Riley models investigation and prosecution strategies in cases of abusive relationship offending. Part one of this worked case example shows the typical challenges, tactics to surmount them, and the need for innovative thinking. Part 2 looks at the issues arising at trial, including where the victim refuses to support the prosecution (perhaps not recognising the abuse, because of its pernicious impact on her personhood). In the case example the victim had to be imprisoned in order to secure her attendance at trial, and she had to be declared a hostile witnitness when she refused to adopt her multiple complaints to police. The articles emphasise the importance of early consultation between the police, CPS and prosecuting counsel.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Chapter D14 Special Measures and Anonymity Orders (Oxford University Press 2019) ' in David Ormerod QC and David Perry QC (eds), Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2020 (OUP 2019)
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Cross-examination of Sexual Assault Complainants on Previous Sexual Behaviour: Views from the Barristers' Row’ ' [2019] Criminal Law Review 75
    This article summarises the largest empirical study of the use of previous sexual behaviour evidence in sexual offence trials in the courts of England and Wales ever conducted. It is impossible to understand how such evidence is handled in trials merely from reading reported judgments, because these reflect only cases which the defence has appealed to the Court of Appeal. The data collected from criminal barristers examines, in depth, 377 cases involving 565 complainants, which proceeded to trial in 105 Crown Courts centres in the 24 months immediately prior to November 2017. This study is unique in collecting data on applications to use previous sexual behaviour evidence in respect of all sexual offences, not just rape, and without any restrictions on complainants as to gender or age. It is unique in eliciting information from the 140 anonymous barristers who were directly involved in prosecuting or defending the cases in the sample, and who know best what happened, not only in the public courtroom but also in the closed courtroom and in the robing room. They in turn are highly unusual in adversarial legal systems in being available to be instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service or by the defence in any case. They therefore have a uniquely balanced view of the criminal justice system and the operation of its evidential and procedural rules.
  • Laura Hoyano (ed), Chapter D14 Special Measures and Anonymity Orders (Oxford University Press 2018)
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Putting the Case, in Every Case' (2018) Counsel 18
    Explains that the rule in Browne v Dunne that in cross-examination any contrary version of the facts must be put to the witness is not a historical artefactt but rather one of fundamental fairness to the witness and to the jury. Illustrates how this can be done with a child witness or other vulnerable witness without calling that witness a liar. Discusses the ruling in R v RK by the Court of Appeal that defence counsel must always assume that they will be expected to put the case to a witness and only exceptionally should the prosecution and the trial judge agreed to dispensing with that.
  • Laura Hoyano, The Operation of YJCEA 1999 Section 41 in the Courts of England & Wales: Views from the Barristers' Row. An independent study commissioned by the Criminal Bar Association (Criminal Bar Association (online) 2018)
    The comprehensive study with a full critique of previous empirical studies, and explanations of all the data are available in the full report on the Criminal Bar Association website. An article summarising the findings it is published in the February 2019 issue of the Criminal Law Review.
    This study constitutes the largest empirical study of the use of previous sexual behaviour evidence in sexual offence trials in the courts of England and Wales ever conducted. It is impossible to understand how such evidence is handled in trials merely from reading reported judgments, because these reflect only cases which the defence has appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that such evidence was wrongly excluded by the trial judge, since the prosecution does not have an equivalent right to seek leave to appeal. The data collected from criminal barristers examines, in depth, 377 cases involving 565 complainants, which proceeded to trial in 105 Crown Courts centres in the 24 months immediately prior to November 2017. This study is unique in collecting data on applications to use previous sexual behaviour evidence in respect of all sexual offences, not just rape, and without any restrictions on complainants as to gender or age. Many children and adolescents feature in the sample. So too do many historical complaints, and many cases involving multiple complainants. It is also unique in eliciting information from the 140 anonymous barristers who were directly involved in prosecuting or defending these cases in the sample, and who know best what happened, not only in the public court room but also in the closed court room and in the robing room. They in turn are highly unusual in adversarial legal systems in ‘walking both sides of the street’, possible only due to the existence of the independent Bar, available to be instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service or by the defence in any case. They therefore have a uniquely balanced view of the criminal justice system.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Video and live-link evidence: state of play' (2018) Counsel 2
    Provides an update on the use of video evidence at trial, including videolinks for vulnerable witnesses, and explains the reasons the Government's plans to roll out pretrial cross-examination under YJCEA 1999 s 28 have stalled.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Why We All Should Take the Vulnerable Witness Training Programme' (2018) Criminal Bar Quarterly 17
    explains linguistic difficulties which not only witnesses but jurors may encounter with understanding questioning in court. Explores the meaning of a tag question. Discusses the reasons why all barristers should take the vulnerable witness training programme offered by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy, and notes some shortcomings in the current programme which should be rectified, such as the exclusion of vulnerable defendants.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Chapter D14 Special Measures and Anonymity Orders' in David Ormerod QC and David Perry QC (eds), Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2018 (Oxford University Press 2017)
    lays out the statutory rules and considers their application in practice rules and in caselaw, in respect of vulnerable adult and child witnesses, vulnerable defendants and intimidated witnesses, and anonymous witnesses. This edition contains a new section on the implementation of Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 section 28 pre-trial cross-examination iin the autumn of 2017.
  • Laura Hoyano and Angela Rafferty QC, 'Rationing Defence Intermediaries under the April 2016 Criminal Practice Direction' (2017) [2017] Criminal Law Review 90
    Equality of arms for child and other vulnerable defendants, in particular access to the special measures routinely provided to prosecution witnesses with the same vulnerabilities, has been contentious since 1999. Much progress has been forced through rulings by courts concerned about such defendants' capacity to cope with the demands of the adversarial trial. This progress appears to have been reversed by the April 2016 criminal practice direction stating that the appointment of defendant intermediaries should be "rare" for the defendant's testimony, and "extremely rare" for the entire trial. This article considers the legal options for challenging this retrograde step, including a synopsis of two recent child sexual exploitation cases which graphically demonstrate the inequality of arms where the complainant, but not the defendant, has access to an intermediary, and the difference in intermediary can make in facilitating the defendant's participation in the trial. The article also includes a diagram mapping all of the critical decisions which a defendant must make in the course of a trial to illustrate the point that much more is demanded intellectually of a defendant than of a prosecution witness providing his or her own narrative of past events.
  • Laura Hoyano, ' Chapter D14 Special Measures and Anonymity Orders' in (ed), Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2017 (OUP 2016)
  • Nicholas Bamforth and Laura Hoyano, 'ECHR and Common Law Accountability of State for Past Atrocities' (2016) 132 Law Quarterly Review Law Quarterly Review 357 [Case Note]
    Commentary on R. (on the application of Keyu) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2015] UKSC 69; [2015] 3 W.L.R. 1665, which rejected all of three gateways to a public inquiry into an alleged massacre of 23 unarmed civilians by British troops in a Malaysian village in 1948:(a) the positive investigative obligation under ECHR Art 2, (b) an entitlement under customary international law as incorporated into common law, and (c) an argument that the refusal of the UK government constituited disproportionate or irrational executive action contrary to the requirements of judicial review. The commentary notes that Keyu powerfully illustrates the possibility of simultaneous twin track challenges to government action under the ECHR and the common law. It also leaves open the door to proportionality review in the common law, with three judgments seemingly deploying proportionality in practice in considering the third gateway. Fuirther, Keyu illustrates the temporal and purposive limits to courts' jurisdiction when considering redress under ECHR Art 2 for atrocities occurring prior to Convention accession.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'No Deal: a Refresher on the Barrister's Rule of Independence in Response to the Home Secretary's Proffered 'Deal' to Human Rights Lawyers' (2016) Counsel 16
    This article s a response to a speech by Theresa May, then Home Secretary, at the Conservative party conference in 2015 in which she offered a 'deal' to human rights and immigration lawyers that if they would refuse to represent asylum seekers whom the Home Secretary deemed to be unmeritorious, then the government could be more generous in helping vulnerable people abroad. The article explains the origins of, and the continuing justifications for, the cab rank rule which prevents English barristers from choosing and refusing cases based on their perceived merits. It explains the fallacies underpinning the Home Secretary's rebuke of human rights and immigration lawyers, and rebuts recent criticisms by socio-economists of the cab rank rule.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Special Measures and Anonymity Orders to Facilitate Testimony by Witnesses and Defendants' in Lord Justice Hooper and Prof David Ormerod (eds), Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2016 (OUP 2015)
    This is a substantial rewrite of the section D4 of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2012, which was written as a new chapter of the book.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'McFarlane v Tayside Health Board and Cattanach v Melchior' in Jonathan Herring and Jesse Wall (eds), Landmark Cases in Medical Law (Hart Publishing – Landmark Cases Series 2015)
    This is a tale of two negligent medical errors in the control of human fertility by public health services, with the same consequence for the patients, unwanted conception of healthy babies, occurring in two jurisdictions with common legal roots in tort law, but with diametrically opposed rulings on the scope of liability from their highest courts. One reflected the conventional philosophy underpinning medical tort law, corrective justice, and the other gingerly opened the door to an interloper, distributive justice, whilst allowing corrective justice to operate on part of the claim (with retributive justice implicitly tossed into the mix by two judicial chefs ). Perhaps surprisingly, the radical approach came from the House of Lords, in McFarlane v Tayside Health Board to which the Australian High Court responded in Cattanach v Melchior by adhering to orthodox principles. Both Courts pondered upon the moral attributes of creating life and parenthood, but they were wary of the moral content and ethical dimensions of professional negligence law. This chapter considers the causes, frequency and cost of failed sterilisation procedures, including statistical data up to 2013 of costs to the NHS. It analyses the different legal formulations for unwanted birth cases and provides a critical evaluation of the arguments discarded and accepted by the majorities and dissenting justices in the House of Lords and the Australian High Court. It offers a new analysis of the actionable damage, being the negligently performed surgery rather than the conception or the birth. It concludes that the judgments in both cases represent how far negligence law has come adrift of principle, supplanted by obscure pragmatism. For that reason, MacFarlane should not be treated as a landmark case for medical law as a whole, whilst Cattanach has essentially been erased by statutory reversal in several Australian states, to impose the MacFarlane result.
    ISBN: 9781849465649
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Reforming the Adversarial Trial for Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants' (2015) Criminal Law Review Sweet & Maxwell 105
    It has become fashionable to decry the adversarial trial as being incapable of achieving justice in trials involving vulnerable witnesses. Such critics usually ignore the plight of vulnerable defendants, and the very significant advances since 2009 in the courts’ management of child witnesses. This article evaluates the radical proposals which these critics have recently advanced as solutions: excluding counsel from cross-examination; concurrent cross-examination with ABE investigatory interviews; requiring prior approval for every question in cross-examination; and allowing independent legal representation for the complainant with full participation in the trial. It contends that these proposals would bring with them serious difficulties, especially for equality of arms and effective participation in the trial by the defendant. It sets out an alternative package of more modest proposals which would both preserve the adversarial mode of trial and protect witnesses: ‘ticketing’ of all advocates; safeguarders for child witnesses and defendants; the establishment of Young Witness Advocacy Centres providing wraparound support; meaningful preparation of witnesses for cross-examination; treating vulnerable witnesses and defendants as individuals, not checklists; the use of admissions to reduce or eliminate cross-examination on ancillary topics; legal representation for witnesses in pre-trial applications for third party disclosure and cross-examination on previous sexual experience, and giving vulnerable defendants access to the full panoply of special measures, including Registered Intermediaries, if necessary throughout the trial.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Straining the Quality of Justice for Children and Their Families in Public Law Cases' (2014) [2014] Family Law 598
    This is the text of an invited lecture to the Family Justice Council in February 2014. It comments on the hostile approach of the Norgrove Commission to parental rights under ECHR articles 6 and 8 to investigative and procedural fairness in care proceedings, and demonstrates that these rights are consonant with the child's rights, not in opposition to them. Discusses the 26-week rule in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and use of a single expert, arguing that delay must be permitted in complex cases which require access to expertise. Gives examples of miscarriages of justice in the family justice system.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'What Is Balanced on the Scales of Justice? In Search of the Essence of the Right to a Fair Trial' [2014] Criminal Law Review 4
    This article contests the notion, prevalent in British jurisprudence regarding ECHR Article 6, and recently adopted by the Grand Chamber in Al-Khawaja v UK, that the right to a fair trial involves the 'balancing' of the rights of the defendant against the rights of the prosecution, the complainant and other witnesses, and the community at large. It argues that the whole notion of balancing is fundamentally misconceived, setting up a conflictual trap whereby defence rights are always seen as being in antithesis to those of the prosecution representing the overarching public interest. Instead, I propose a model embodying a sense of objective fairness predicated upon the right to a verdict with integrity; as such this right is not allocated to any one participant in the trial but is a common good, erasing any perceived antitheses within Article 6. The article goes on to explore the concept of "the essence of the right" in Article 6(3) caselaw, and explains why this has been extinguished by the approach to Article 6 of the Grand Chamber in Al-Khawaja, sacrificing principle to juridical, and possibly political, expediency. The consequence is that Article 6 now only serves to protect the right to a 'fair-ish' trial.
    ISBN: 0011-135X
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Withholding Potentially Life-Sustaining Treatment and the Mental Capacity Act 2005' (2014) 36 Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 1
    Considers the interpretation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v James [2013] UKSC 67, and regrets the last opportunity to consider the human rights dimensions offered by the ECHR.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Chosen (sequel)' (2013) Channel 4 Channel 4 Dispatches
    I have been interviewed and have acted as a legal adviser on a follow-up programme to a BAFTA award-winning Radio Four programme on historic allegations of institutional sexual abuse at a public school (Caldicutt). The programme was to be broadcast in June 2013 but because the prosecutions of the headmaster ended in a hung jury in mid-June,the completion of the film and broadcast has been postponed until the retrial which has been ordered.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Today Programme' (2013) BBC BBC Radio Four 08:10
    from BBC website: A leading children's charity, Action for Children, has said that the criminal law relating to child neglect in England and Wales is inadequate and should be changed. The Children and Young Persons Act came into force 80 years ago. Speaking on the Today programme Laura Hoyano, chair of Wadham College Oxford's independent advisory group on neglect for the charity Action for Children said that "although the social services have the benefit of up-to-date guidance on child neglect offences, the police are still working with a law that was initially drafted in 1868 and has not been updated since 1933". Professor Corinne May-Chahal of Lancaster University explained that social workers are frustrated that the police are unable to take action on some cases of child neglect, while the police are "frustrated that the current law doesn't enable them to take appropriate action and responsibility".
  • R Taylor and Laura Hoyano, 'Criminal Child Maltreatment: the Case for Reform' (2012) Sweet & Maxwell, Criminal Law Review 871
    The current offence of child cruelty in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (CYPA) originates in 1868. This article contends that it is not fit for its purpose, particularly given new understanding of the neurological and developmental impairments inflicted by neglect and emotional abuse. It should be replaced by a comprehensive maltreatment offence which is comprehensible to criminal and civil child protection agencies, professionals and the public.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Section D14 Assisting a Witness or Defendant' in Lord Justice Hooper and Prof David Ormerod (eds), Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2012 (Oxford University Press 2011)
    This is an entirely new chapter for Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, and explains the statutory provisions and case law governing (1) special measures for child and vulnerable witnesses, including defendants (2) best practice in questioning child and vulnerable witnesses and (3) witness anonymity orders.
    ISBN: 9780199694389
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Ecclesiastical Responsibility for Clerical Wrongdoing' (2010) 18 Tort Law Review 154
    ISBN: 1039-3285
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Coroners And Justice Act 2009 -- (3) Special Measures Directions Take Two: Entrenching Unequal Access to Justice?' [2010] Criminal Law Review 345
    This article maps (through diagrams) and analyses the changes made by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to existing Special Measures Directions for child witnesses, child defendants and complainants of sexual assault under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Adult defendants suffering from some form of significant mental impairment are for the first time made eligible to apply for leave to testify using the live link and with the assistance of an intermediary. In addition, the 2009 Act deems witnesses to violent offences against the person involving the use of firearms or knives to be intimidated and hence automatically eligible for Special Measures. The article concludes that the measures for defendants do not go far enough and are susceptible to challenge under ECHR Article 6, and perhaps go too far in introducing anomalies in the treatment of different categories of intimidated witnesses.
    ISBN: 0011-135X
  • Laura Hoyano and C Keenan, Child Abuse: Law and Policy Across Boundaries (OUP 2010)
    This book examines the whole process of child protection from complaint investigation to prosecution in the criminal and civil courts. It provides a coherent analysis of current law and procedure across the legal and geographical boundaries within which legal discussion of child abuse is usually confined, analysing criminal, family, tort, human rights and evidence law as they bear on child abuse cases. Comparative material is drawn from over 75 jurisdictionsusing the adversarial trial model. The book was awarded the first Inner Temple Book Prize (2008). The paperback edition is updated in English law, including the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 enacted on 12 November 2009.
    ISBN: 978-0-19-957156-7
  • Laura Hoyano and C Keenan, Child Abuse: Law and Policy Across Boundaries (OUP 2007)
    This book examines the whole process of child protection from complaint investigation to prosecution in the criminal and civil courts. It provides a coherent analysis of current law and procedure across the legal and geographical boundaries within which legal discussion of child abuse is usually confined, analysing criminal, family, tort, human rights and evidence law as they bear on child abuse cases. Comparative material is drawn from over 75 jurisdictionsusing the adversarial trial model. The book was awarded the first Inner Temple Book Prize (2008). The paperback edition is updated in English law, including the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 enacted on 12 November 2009.
    ISBN: 978-0-19-829946-2
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Child Witness Review: Much Ado about too Little' [2007] November Criminal Law Review 849
    In December 2004 the Government announced a review of child evidence with a remit to consider whether section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, providing for video taped pre-trial cross-examination, should be retained in some form, to review the performance of Special Measures for child witnesses, and to consider measures for vulnerable defendants. The Review Group's Consultation Paper, Improving the Criminal Trial Process of Young Witnesses, was published only in June 2007. This article critically evaluates the most significant recommendations. As of October 2008, the Government had yet to publish its position regarding the responses to the Consultation Paper, notwithstanding that the consultation period had closed in October 2007.
    ISBN: 0011 135X
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999: Special Measures Directions: Compliance with Article 6' (2005) 69 Journal of Criminal Law 488
    evaluates the decision of the House of Lords in Camberwell Green Youth Court ex parte D [2005] UKHL 4, [2005] 1 WLR 393, which held that mandatory Special Measures Directions for child witnessesunder the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 in principle comply with ECHR Article 6.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Misconceptions about Wrongful Conception' (2002) 65(6) Modern Law Review 883
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.00414
    A critical analysis of the British cases considering the recoverability in tort of the cost of maintaining a child born following a failed sterilisation procedure, beginning with McFarlane v Tayside Health Authority [2000] 2 AC 59, and culminating in the Court of Appeal decision in Rees v. Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust [2002] 2 All ER 177.
    ISBN: 1468-2230
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Striking a Balance between the Rights of Defendants and Vulnerable Witnesses: Will Special Measures Directions Contravene Guarantees of a Fair Trial?' [2001] Criminal Law Review 948
    The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 enables courts to issue Special Measures Directions to protect children and other vulnerable witnesses. This article reviewed the compatibility of these measures with the fair trial guarantee contained in article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Subject to a few doubtful cases, including the withholding of Special Measures from child defendants, the great majority of Special Measures Directions were concluded to be likely to be ECHR-compatible. It was cited with approval by the House of Lords in R v Camberwell Green Youth Court ex parte D [2005] UKHL 4, [2005] 1 WLR 393, in holding that the 'primary rule' regime for child witnesses was compatible with article 6, but expressing doubt about the exclusion of child defendants from Special Measures.
    ISBN: 0011 135X
  • Laura Hoyano, '"And What's Your Name Rebecca?" Child and Other Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants: Competence and Special Measures Take Two' (2000) Criminal Bar Association Criminal bar Association Spring conference
    Audience of senior and trial judiciary and criminal barristers at the annual spring conference in Bristol. I addressed the recent case law interpreting the testimonial competence of child witnesses and critiqued to the amendments to the Special Measures Directions regime introduced by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. I urged a human rights challenge to the differential access to special measures for defendants and prosecution witnesses.
  • Laura Hoyano, '(Rough translation) child protection in South Korea and the United Kingdom' (2000) South Korean Public Television South Korean Public Television
    I was interviewed by a team of investigative journalists in October 2011 for a programme comparing how children are protected from physical violence and homicide at the hands of their family in England and South Korea, with particular focus on the policy and pragmatic implications of the 'Baby P' case.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Advice to the Verma Committee (India) examining sexual offences' (2000)
    I was contacted by the former Solicitor General of India, Gopal Subramanium and a member of the Verma committee, to advise them on the following issues: (a) Rewriting the definitions of sexual offences against adults (b) Decriminalising consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex (c) Creating specific sexual offences relating to children and vulnerable adults (d) Addressing the way that sexual offence cases are tried, such as setting up special sexual assault courts (e) Videotaping interviews with complainants, and protocols for questioning them (f) The way in which the child and adult complainants of sexual offences testify, such as the UK's Special Measures Directions. As a result of further exchanges of correspondence I also advised them on training programmes for the judiciary and lawyers to sensitise them to issues involving vulnerable witnesses and sexual abuse prosecutions. My contributions were the first in the list of those acknowledged in the Report itself (page 18) and were verbally acknowledged in a national press conference by Chief Justice Verma [].
  • Laura Hoyano, 'adviser to the NSPCC on mandatory reporting of child abuse allegations' (2000)
    I have been asked to advise David Tucker, Associate Head, Policy Hub, NSPCC regarding recent recommendations in the controversy surrounding the Savile and Cheatham Music School investigations, in particular those by the HMIC (see earlier entry) that a legal requirement for reporting of child abuse allegations to the police and social services
  • Laura Hoyano, 'appointed Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Child Neglect and the Criminal Law, Action for Children' (2000)
    I have been appointed as the Chair of an independent group of experts drawn from child psychiatry and neuroscience and other experts in child health and development, legal practitioners of criminal and family law, professional bodies for social work and the police (including ACPO), policymakers including CAFCASS, and voluntary sector organisations such as the Prison Reform Trust, to advise Action for Children on their campaign to reform the criminal law of neglect. I was chosen for this position due to my book Hoyano & Keenan, Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries (OUP 2007, 2010), and my research has been cited in the policy paper developed by Action for Children for presentation to MPs and Peers and government ministers and advisers. I am also chairing a subgroup of lawyers and a child psychiatrist to draft an amendment to a Bill currently before Parliament to replace the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 Section 1, whichwill be debated before the Summer Recess of Parliament in July 2012. I am assisting Action for Children in identifying and soliciting experts for this advisory group and in garnering political support from MPs and Peers for the amendment.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Can Child Defendants Defend Themselves?' (2000) University of Exeter/ESRC ESRC Seminar on neuroscience and the Law
    A four stage seminar series seeking to engage neuroscientists with criminal lawyers and policymakers, held in London. I am involved in three of the four seminars and made a presentation at the second one.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Challenging the Credibility of Child and Other Vulnerable Witnesses' (2000) Middle Temple Middle Temple CPD Day
    Lecture in Middle Temple Hall, London to around 75 criminal and and civil law barristers about how to identify vulnerable witnesses, third party disclosure, and cross-examination techniques, including putting the case and challenging previous allegedly false allegations.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Child maltreatment– introducing a new offence' (2000) see below - multiple meetings with ministers, MPs and government officials in Westminster
    I have drafted an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill to repeal section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and replace it with a new child maltreatment offence, which I have also drafted. The amendment, sponsored by a significant number of MPs from across parties, will be debated on 13/03/2013 in the House of Commons. I met with 8 officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and CPS on 01/03/13, justice Minister Damien Green MP, Jessica Lee MP (PPS to AG), Baroness Butler-Sloss and his officials on 04/03/13, and gave a presentation to MPs in Parliament on 06/03/13. Briefing papers for MPs include my Crim LR article on Child Maltreatment (with Rachel Taylor).
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Children Failed by Lack of Clarity about Reporting Allegations of Abuse' (2000) Scott Trust The Guardian In the Education Section
    I was interviewed for this article and prepared a background briefing for the journalist. I was quoted and my book Hoyano & Keenan Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries was cited. As a consequence of the article I was contacted by the NSPCC and asked to be available to assist them in their response to the Jimmy Savile investigations.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Citation of research by the Ministry of Justice, Government of New Zealand' (2000)
    My research into children as witnesses (Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries 2007 Edition) was cited in an Issues Paper, Alternative Pre-Trial and Trial Processes for Child Witnesses in New Zealand's Criminal Justice System (page 13), which was provided to the Cabinet Domestic Policy Committee as background material for a decision on reforming court procedures for child witnesses which was taken on 6 July 2011 (DOM Min (11) 10/1), available on the same website.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Cox [2012] EWCA Crim 549 [28]' (2000)
    Lord Judge CJ quoted with approval two passages regarding the appropriate use of intermediaries for vulnerable witnesses including defendants from para D14.39 of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2012; I was the sole author of that chapter.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Crown Court Bench Book March 2010' (2000)
    The Crown Court Bench Book – Directing the Jury, which is official guidance endorsed by the senior judiciary, states on page 366 under the heading "The Evidence of Child Witnesses" in section (3)para 5 "For discussion of issues of competence and intelligibility of the evidence of child witnesses see 'Testing the Credibility of Children's Evidence', Laura Hoyano, July 2008, JSB [Judicial Studies Board] Website, Criminal/Library/Evidence. This refers to a lecture I delivered to the Judicial Studies Board in July 2008. I have received requests from practitioners for this handout, derived from this citation.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Fellow' (2000) Middle Temple
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Investigating and Litigating Child Abuse in the Wake of \'Baby P\': ' (2000) Family Law Bar Association Family Law Bar Association National Conference
    Presentation together with my co-author Dr Caroline Keenan at the annual conference of the FLBA in Oxford. My own lecture addressed "Litigating Child Abuse in the Criminal and Family Courts: Visible Versus Invisible Justice", and explored the implications of opening the family courts to the media in light of recent alleged miscarriages of the family justice system, including nondisclosure of the fallibility of expert evidence diagnosing physical abuse.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'invited participant as an academic with expertise in child abuse prosecutions' (2000) Crown Prosecution Service Roundtable Discussion with the Director Of Public Prosecutions on Child Sexual Abuse Prosecutions
    meeting at CPS headquarters chaired by Kier Starmer QC, DPP jointly with Chief Constable David Whatton. The meeting identified a number of ideas to improve how the criminal justice system responds to child sexual abuse cases, especially in terms of the experience of the victim. The ideas included the introduction of pre-recorded cross examination of victims, the greater use of intermediaries, the scope for a specialist court, dispelling and challenging myths and stereotypes around the behaviour of victims if they arise in court, ensuring court cases go ahead on time, and that victims giving evidence in the witness box are not doing so for an unnecessarily long period of time, especially in cases where there are multiple defendants. I was the only law academic invited to attend the session, and I were subsequently contacted by the DPP requesting further information about Canadian prosecution protocols and judicial directions on delayed complaint and complainant credibility, and I am continuing to work with the DPP on these issues. The roundtable discussions resulted in the issuance on 11/06/2013 of Interim Guidelines on the Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse, and I am involved in the consultation process.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Letter to the editor ' (2000) The Times 22
    A letter signed by 33 forensic psychiatrists, neuroscientists and other medical researchers, policymakers, barristers and academics (including myself) urging the government to raise the age of criminal responsibility in line with most other countries due to research findings by neuroscientists on the immature development of the normal adolescent brain.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Litigating Child Abuse across Boundaries' (2000) Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Russell Square, London Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Public Lecture Series on Family Law
    Audience of judges, barristers and solicitors, academics, policymakers, students and members of the public. The lecture explored the anomalies between child protection proceedings and criminal proceedings where they proceed in parallel in adjudicating the same allegation of child abuse. Pursuing the themes of 'inquisitorial' versus 'adversarial' enquiries, free proof versus filtered proof, and visible justice versus invisible justice, I considered pretrial disclosure of evidence, legal professional privilege, in camera hearings and expert evidence. The discussion took account the human rights dimensions of these issues
  • Laura Hoyano, 'mandatory reporting of allegations of child abuse for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies' (2000)
    I was asked to advise her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies on the issue of mandatory reporting as a potential recommendation as part of their inspection of the handling of allegations against Jimmy Savile by two police forces. page 61 of the report 'Mistakes Were Made' cites my research on the issue in Hoyano & Keenan, Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries (2007) p 445.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Member' (2000) Michael Seiff Foundation Working Party on Child Defendants
  • Laura Hoyano, 'NEUROSCIENCE, CHILDREN & THE LAW' (2000) Houses of Parliament Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology
    I have been invited to give a presentation entitled "Child Defendants: Can They Defend Themselves?" at a seminar organised by the Parliamentary Adviser on Biological Sciences & Health at the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, which arises out of a talk I gave at an ESRC funded seminar series DevelopmentalSocial Neuroscience, Ethics and the Law. The invitation arose out of a mass of publications over the years and vulnerable witnesses and vulnerable defendants which I have published in the Criminal Law Review and my book Hoyano & Keenan Child Abuse Law and Policy across Boundaries (OUP 2007, 2010). The Seminar will be attended by around 60 MPs, Peers and their advisers as well as invited representatives of key external organisations involved in neuroscience, psychiatry, law and policy.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility' (2000) House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Meeting
    Meeting with Lord Dholakia and Dr Eileen Vizard in Parliament to discuss the legal and neuroscientific research supporting his private member's bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility from age 10 to 12. I have undertaken to write a briefing for peers on the issue when the bill is debated in the next session of Parliament in the autumn of 2013, and to enlist children's charities in support of his campaign, which work is ongoing.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'raising the age of criminal responsibility' (2000)
    The Rt. Hon. the Lord Dholakia PC, OBE, DL, Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats, House of Lords has invited me and Dr Eileen Vizard to meet with him on 14 May 2013 to discuss his private member's bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility. I assume I have been invited because of a lecture I delivered in the HL on this topic in 2012 as part of a seminar on neuroscience and the law.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Reforming the Law of Child Maltreatment' (2000) special Parliamentary briefing for MPs and peers chaired by Baroness Butler Sloss
    I was the keynote speaker at a Parliamentary Briefing organised by Action for Children on the proposed reform of the criminal law and child neglect, attended by peers, MPs, officials from the Ministry of Justice and representatives of criminal justice charities.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Special Measures Directions for Child, Vulnerable & Intimidated Witnesses' (2000) Services Prosecuting Authority Annual Conference of the Services Prosecuting Authority
    Lecture to the Services Prosecuting Authority at CPA headquarters at RAF Northolt at the invitation of Bruce Houlder QC, Director of Services Prosecutions. I have since advised the SPA on training materials on vulnerable witnesses, hearsay, character evidence and other evidential issues for their prosecutors.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Testing the Credibility of Children's Evidence' (2000) Judicial Studies Board Judicial Studies Board Serious Sexual Offences Seminar
    Part of a week-long training sessions for trial and appellate judges, required for them to try cases involving serious sexual offences. I addressed testimonial competence, and and cross-examining child complainants on previous sexual experience under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s. 41 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s. 100.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Big Questions (presenter Nicky Campbell)' (2000) BBC One Sunday morning
    I was invited to attend and speak as an expert commentator on the issue "Should old cases come to court?", my particular remit being whether historic allegations of child abuse can be fairly tried. I was requesed to and provided substantial background research for the presenter. I also addressed the issue of immigration.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Variations On A Theme By Pigot: Special Measures Directions for Child Witnesses' [2000] [2000] Criminal Law Review 250
    This article maps and analyses the Special Measures Directions introduced for child and other vulnerable and intimidated witnesses by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Simplified versions of the diagrams in this article are reproduced in the several editions of the official government guidance to Special Measures Directions, Achieving Best Evidence (Home Office et al).
  • Laura Hoyano, Gwynn Davis, Caroline Keenan and Lee Maitland, An Assessment of the Admissibility and Sufficiency of Evidence in Child Abuse Prosecutions (Home Office, United Kingdom Government 1999)
    This reports the findings of a qualitative empirical research study commissioned by the Home Office in 1997, to investigate the extent to which cases of alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse or neglect are not prosecuted because the evidence gathered during the investigation are deemed insufficient or inadmissible. The study examined how that evidence is collected and evaluated in each of the three phases of a criminal prosecution: the interagency investigation, the assessment by the Crown Prosecution Service, and the trial.The study also provides a comparative survey of measures to facilitate the taking of children's evidence in other jurisdictions, in particular in Canada, United States, New Zealand and Australia.
    ISBN: 1-84082-357-7
  • Laura Hoyano, Caroline Keenan, Gwynn Davis and Lee Maitland, Interviewing Allegedly Abused Children with a View to a Criminal Prosecution, paper presented at Criminal Law Review
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Policing Flawed Police Investigations: Unravelling the Blanket' (1999) 62 Modern Law Review 912
    This article critically evaluates judicial arguments against the imposition of tort liability on police forces for negligent investigations of crime. The article analyses and defends the much-criticised decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Osman v UK.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Profit Paradox: Protecting Legitimate Expectations in Tort' (1999) 78 Canadian Bar Review 363
    In the new era of concurrent liability, Commonwealth appellate courts have called for the rationalisation of the law of remedies across causes of action. Yet the formalistic logic of the current remedial rules applicable to misrepresentations actionable in tort and contract can yield widely discrepant results on the same matrix of facts. Anomalies are exposed where the contract was induced by fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation, but the victim discovered the truth only after fully performing the contract. The tort damages will usually equal the contract award where the misrepresentation was relatively minor, such that the court concludes that had the plaintiff known the truth, it would have been negotiated the contract price to reflect the actual circumstances, increasing the profit margin. However, where the misrepresentation was so serious that the fully informed victim would have refused to contract with the defendant under any terms, the award is calculated on the basis of the plaintiff's cost of performance, without any compensation for loss of profit. To circumvent this paradox, the courts have devised several stratagems to award the plaintiff damages for lost profit. This article shows these devices to be flawed, and that under the current orthodoxy, the law still leaves the defendant to enjoy the fruits of its tort. The author proposes an alternate rule which redefines loss of profits in this context as reliance loss, submitting that this measure best achieves tort's remedial objectives of full compensation and deterrence.
  • Laura Hoyano, Allan Hoyano, Gwynn Davis and Shelagh Goldie, 'A Study of the Impact of the Revised Code for Crown Prosecutors' [1997] [1997] Criminal Law Review 556
    Reports on the results of an empirical research study commissioned by the Crown Prosecution Service on how Crown prosecutors use the Code for Crown Prosecutors to make decisions regarding a range of offences, using the evidential and public interest criteria.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Flight to the Fiduciary Haven' in Peter Birks (ed), Privacy and Loyalty (OUP 1997)
    This chapter explores the invasion of part of the territory of common law obligations by the fiduciary phenomenon, considering in particular Canadian and Australian jurisprudence. The encroachment of fiduciary concepts into Hedley Byrne advisory relationships and fiduciary liability for sexual exploitation is considered in some depth.
    ISBN: 0-19-876488-X
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Lies Recklessness and Deception: Disentangling Dishonesty in Civil Fraud' (1996) 75 Canadian Bar Review 474
    Despite expressions of judicial distaste for the "current fashion" of alleging civil fraud, there continue to be significant of damages to pleading the tort of deceit as alternate or concurrent liability to negligent mistatement. This article explores the evidentiary difficulties in proving the requisite mental intent in the tort of deceit, with particular focus on pronouncements from the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada requiring that a plaintiff prove that the defendant intended to deceive the plaintiff in making the false statement. The author contends that this view was mistaken, and that both precedent and policy dictate that the requisite mental intent be merely that of inducing reliance upon the mistatement. To impose an additional requirement of proof of intent to deceive would extinguish recklessness as a separate avenue to establishing the dishonesty which is the essence of the tort, and might well result in making the tort of fraud more difficult to prove than the criminal offence of fraud.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'No Constitutional Licence for Defamation in Canada' (1996) 4 Tort Law Review 172
    Critically evaluates the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Hill v Church of Scientology [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130 holding that the common law tort of defamation generally complies with the guarantee of freedom of expression in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'Dangerous Defects Revisited by Bold Spirits' (1995) 58 Modern Law Review 887
    Discusses the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada holding builders liable in negligence to subsequent purchasers for the cost of repairing dangerous defects in Winnipeg Condominium No 36 v Bird Construction [1995] 1 SCR 85, and argues that the House of Lords should abandon the immunity from such liability it accorded builders in D&F Estates and in Murphy v Brentwood.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Dutiful Tortfeasor in the House of Lords' (1995) 3 Tort Law Journal 63
    critically evaluates the decision of the House of Lords in Hunt v Severs [1994] 2 AC 350 holding that a catastrophically injured claimant could not recover for her past and future cost of care, where that care had been provided by the tortfeasor.
  • Laura Hoyano, 'The Prudent Parent:The Elusive Standard of Care' (1984) 18 University of British Columbia Law Review 1
    This article evaluates the standard of care applicable to education professionals in Canadian, English and Australian law.

Research programmes

Research Interests

  • Evidence
  • Human Rights
  • Medical Law & Ethics
  • Child protection law
  • Tort Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal  Justice


Options taught

Tort, Human Rights Law, Children, Families and the State, Medical Law and Ethics

Research projects