Monday 18 June 2012
The goodwill of the Crown Prosecution Service, defence lawyers , staff, magistrates and Judges helped the legal system deal with the volumes of cases that were presented to courts up and down the country following last summer's London riots, says District Judge Tan Ikram.
In a lecture that took place on 14 June 2012 at the University, District Judge Ikram, who sentenced some of the defendants who were found guilty of taking part in the London riots, also discussed the legal process which resulted in many being remanded in custody and denied bail while he and his colleagues applied sentencing guidelines to determine punishment.
The lecture is part of the University's Public Lecture Series and Professor Malcolm Davies, Head of the University's Ealing Law School helped set the backdrop to last summer's events. He explained to the large audience in attendance the statistics of the number of people involved in the riots, the sentences given and showed footage of some of the devastating incidences during that period.
District Judge Ikram was interviewed by BBC's Legal Correspondent and Honorary Professor at the University's Ealing Law School, Clive Coleman, about how he sat through his court for 12 hours in Camberwell and how quickly the District Bench was able to respond to the demands made on it.
Recalling the events of last summer's riots, District Judge Ikram explained how there was a sense of urgency to deal with the immediacy of the situation and how mentally challenging it was but the judiciary were well equipped to deal with the intellectual difficulties that were thrown at them.
District Judge Ikram also spoke about the sentencing of courts and how they applied sentencing guidelines to punish those guilty of riot related crimes in order to protect the public.
It was revealed during the lecture that judges are still hearing riot related cases, with an average of 12 cases per week brought to the judges. The work of administering justice in relation to the riots is still ongoing.