- Human Rights,
- Medical Law & Ethics,
- Tort Law,
- Criminal Law
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