Biography

Laura Hoyano 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 and practised commercial, insurance and catastrophic personal injury law for 10 years, interrupted by a sabbatical year in 1990-91 to read for the B.C.L. at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1994 she moved to England to an academic appointment at the Law Faculty of the University of Bristol, continuing part-time practice. From 1999 to 2013 she held a Tutorial Fellowship at Wadham College and a CUF Lectureship 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 in criminal justice and human rights, in particular the intersection between the law of evidence and human rights, as well as tort and medical law. She continues with her usual Faculty duties, as a University Lecturer (ULNTF), lecturing in Tort Law, Evidence Law and Medical Law & Ethics. 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. See further below under Research Interests.

In 2009 Laura was elected as a Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, where she serves on the Equality & Diversity Committee, and she is a door tenant at a leading criminal barristers' set in London, Red Lion Chambers. She has conducted empirical research for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office on prosecutorial decision making and on child abuse prosecutions. She chairs the Independent Advisory Committee on Child Maltreatment convened by Action for Children, which drafted a new offence of child maltreatment which is currently before Parliament. She also provides advice on law reform to the NSPCC and works with the Children's Rights Alliance and Just For Kids Law on strategic litgation to further children's rights, especially in the criminal justice system. 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 being acknowledged in the Report and in the national press conference held by Chief Justice Verma. She has recently been 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 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.

Laura frequently provides training and lectures for the Criminal Bar Association

Publications

Displaying 1 - 25 of 61. Sorted by year, then title.
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  • 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.
  • Nicholas Bamforth and Laura Hoyano, Human Rights Law and Principles in the United Kingdom (OUP 2014)
    This Textbook, designed for postgraduates andsenior undergraduates, will provide an accessible but intellectually rigorous text book which addresses how human rights issues are configured and adjudicated in the specific British context, exploring the multiple dimensions of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Union, international law, and national legislation and common law, and an introduction to human rights theory , integrating this into the legal analysis.
  • 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] [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] [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] [2000] 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
  • Rachel Taylor and Laura Hoyano, 'Criminal Child Maltreatment: the Case for Reform' [2000] [2012] Criminal Law Review 871
    The current offence of child cruelty in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 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 proposes a new comprehensive maltreatment of fans which would be comprehensible to criminal and civil child protection agencies, professionals and the public.
    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 [http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/shocked-that-delhi-police-chief-got-pat-on-the-back-justice-verma/262802?hp&video-featured].
  • 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

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Research Interests

  • Evidence,
  • Human Rights,
  • Medical Law & Ethics,
  • Tort Law,
  • Criminal Law

 

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Tort, Human Rights Law, Medical Law and Ethics

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