Law in Action-logo

Law in Action


Joshua Rozenberg presents Radio 4's long-running legal magazine programme, featuring reports and discussion on matters relating to law

Joshua Rozenberg presents Radio 4's long-running legal magazine programme, featuring reports and discussion on matters relating to law


London, United Kingdom




Joshua Rozenberg presents Radio 4's long-running legal magazine programme, featuring reports and discussion on matters relating to law




Room 1252 BBC White City 201 Wood Lane London W12 7TS U.K


Workplace law

Recent high-profile discrimination claims have cast a media spotlight on the employment tribunals of England, Wales and Scotland. But how good are they are at resolving disputes between employers and staff? How independent are they of the government? And how well have they recovered from fee increases that meant some employment judges had to move jobs? Why an autistic man’s experiments with explosives were lawful. Joshua speaks to Jonathan Hall QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism...


Deferred Prosecution Agreements: pragmatic but unprincipled?

Earlier this year, Airbus was ordered to pay nearly €1bn by a criminal court in London. The penalty, for failure to prevent bribery, was more than twice the fines paid by defendants in England and Wales for the whole of 2018. In addition, the global aerospace company was required to pay fines totalling €2.6bn in France and the United States. But Airbus has not been convicted of any crimes and nobody has gone to prison. Joshua Rozenberg Investigates deferred prosecution agreements....


An Enterprising Court

Tucked away in the City of London is one of the UK’s most successful invisible exports. But is the Commercial Court threatened by international developments? Joshua Rozenberg investigates. Italy has extended its emergency coronavirus measures and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered people to stay at home. Lawyer Mariella Melandri tells Law In Action how this is affecting her legal practice and clients. The government is planning emergency legislation allowing people who are forced to...


Supporting evidence

Imagine what it must be like to be a child with autism. Your school won’t give you the support you need. But challenging that decision involves giving evidence at a tribunal where the lighting seems dazzling and the air-conditioning sounds deafening. Joshua Rozenberg reports from a tribunal in Glasgow designed by children for children. He visits a unique sensory room designed to put children with autism at their ease and help them speak for themselves. Also, could Manchester City FC overturn...


On parole

The Parole Board will soon have to decide whether it’s safe to release prisoners convicted of low-level terrorist offences. But how effective is it at predicting whether a criminal will reoffend? Joshua Rozenberg visits the Parole Board for England and Wales to find out. Also new legal powers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Joshua speaks to David Lawson, Barrister at Serjeants' Inn Chambers and Catharine Arnold, author of Pandemic 1918. Producer: Neil Koenig Researcher: Diane Richardson


What’s it really like to be in prison?

The secrets of life behind bars, revealed in a new podcast series. Joshua Rozenberg meets the ex-prisoners and others behind the project from The Prison Radio Association and The Prison Reform Trust. The bedroom tax and why the Court of Appeal got it wrong, plus online courts and the future of justice. Photo: Joshua Rozenberg with The Secret Life of Prisons presenters and contributors: Paula Harriott, Head of Prisoner Engagement at Prison Reform Trust. Brenda Birungi, Poet and Founder of...


Abusive parents

Should parents with a history of domestic abuse be allowed to see their children? How can the family courts protect children from further abuse? Joshua Rozenberg asks where the law should draw the line. And he discovers some of the innovative programmes being run in Altcourse Prison near Liverpool - including keeping birds of prey. Presenter: Joshua Rozenberg Producer: Neil Koenig Researcher: Diane Richardson


Help for vulnerable witnesses

Joshua Rozenberg visits a busy Crown Court where vulnerable or intimidated witnesses can give pre-recorded evidence and face cross-examination before the defendant stands trial. Researcher: Diane Richardson Producer: Neil Koenig


Legal lessons from Brexit

In holding the government to account over Brexit, our judges have added new pages to the UK's uncodified constitution. Joshua Rozenberg finds the law more active today than at any time since he launched this programme 35 years ago, and in the first episode of the new series he asks what legal lessons we can learn from the tumult caused by Brexit. Researcher: Diane Richardson Producer: Neil Koenig


Rape Myths

Do jurors believe in rape myths? A coalition campaigning to end violence against women said a third of people questioned in an opinion poll thought that sex without consent was not rape if there was no physical violence involved. Professor Cheryl Thomas at University College London has interviewed more than 50 real juries about their views. Ahead of publication, she outlines her findings to Joshua Rozenberg. Also this week, the court that can close your business down in a few seconds; and...


Julian Assange: What next?

Prosecutors in the United States want Julian Assange extradited to face charges of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified defence documents. What chance does he have of defeating the US extradition request at a hearing planned for next February? Also on Law in Action: if you’ve been turned down for social security payments, how easy is it to take the government to a tribunal? And the Australian defence lawyer who shopped her gangster clients to the police. Producers: Bob Howard and...


Raising the Bar?

Should a non-traditional background be a bar to joining the Bar? Barristers want the best recruits. But many law students waste time and money training for a profession they will never succeed in joining. Leading lawyers tell Joshua Rozenberg how they plan to reduce training fees and increase diversity. Also this week: threats and transparency in the Court of Protection. And the law behind the failed attempt to launch a private prosecution against Boris Johnson. Producers: Neil Koenig and...


Brexit and the EU judiciary

What will happen to the European Union judiciary after Brexit? Eleanor Sharpston QC is a British member of the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg. She argues it’s in the interests of both the UK and the EU for British judges to remain at the EU Court after Brexit - at least during a transitional period - because the UK will still be affected by its rulings. Also this week: transparency in the courts. When judges make decisions on sensitive personal and family issues, should their courts be...


Jailhouse Law

Joshua Rozenberg reports from a prison where inmates study legal issues alongside law students from Cambridge University. The academics who launched this ground-breaking project have found that both groups of students benefit by learning together. Plus, why four doctors have launched a Judicial Review of the Royal College of Physician’s assisted dying poll. Producers: Neil Koenig and Diane Richardson.


Online Abuse and the Law

Joshua Rozenberg asks whether new laws are needed to protect online and social media users from abuse? Plus, in our latest look behind the scenes of courts large and small, we visit an immigration tribunal in central London. Joshua Rozenberg meets applicants who want to stay in Britain and judges who need an encyclopaedic knowledge of world affairs to decide whether they can remain.


The Family Drug and Alcohol Court

We visit a problem-solving court in Coventry. Joshua Rozenberg speaks to judges, social workers and a mother whose drug addiction put her at risk of losing her children. Producer: Neil Koenig


The Supreme Court

Behind the scenes at the UK's top court: Joshua Rozenberg talks to staff, officials and the court’s most senior justices. Why do they allow some appeals and refuse even to hear others? How activist are they? And what effect did the Brexit challenge of 2016 have on the reputation of the judiciary? Producer: Neil Koenig


Peacemaking, New York style.

Judge Alex Calabrese can wield the big stick if he needs to. But peacemakers at the Red Hook Community Justice Centre in Brooklyn often find it more effective to pass round what they call a talking stick. Joshua Rozenberg finds out whether a Native American form of dispute resolution can be transplanted to a deprived corner of New York. Also, what the new director of public prosecutions for England and Wales thinks about screening jurors before they try rape cases. And one of the BBC team...


How did the US Supreme Court become so powerful?

Joshua Rozenberg hears the story of the extraordinary case that rewrote the way America is governed - giving the Supreme Court the power to overrule Congress. He discovers what American prosecutors get up to behind the closed doors of the grand jury room. And he asks whether we should be screening jurors in England and Wales for bias before they are allowed to serve on rape trials. Producer: Neil Koenig Researcher: Diane Richardson


Can the law rein in Amazon?

There is a possibility of a new legal challenge to the tech giants. Early last year, an unknown American law student published a scholarly article in a distinguished journal. Lina Khan argued that competition law – known in the United States as anti-trust law – could be used to rein in the activities of huge enterprises like Amazon. Other lawyers disagree with her reasoning - but the Federal Trade Commission is assessing the arguments. Joshua Rozenberg sounds out opinions in the United...