Northumbria University Symposium: Evidence in Sexual Offences Prosecutions

This workshop has been organised by the Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies and will feature Professor Penney Lewis, Commissioner for Criminal Law. 

About the event

The Law Commission’s Consultation Paper Evidence in Sexual Offences Prosecutions is a wide-ranging examination of the law, with a unifying theme of countering myths and misconceptions about rape other sexual offences. It covers disclosure of personal records; sexual history and character evidence and other limitations on evidence or questioning; special measures and legal advice/representation for complainants; and measures to improve jury decision-making. It also canvasses several possibilities for more radical reform.

This symposium is an opportunity for practitioners and academics to meet Penney Lewis, the Commissioner leading the project, and discuss the issues under the “Chatham House Rule” – participants’ views will inform the Centre’s response to the Consultation, but individual contributors will not be named.

The symposium will be in two parts. In the first part there will be a talk by Professor Lewis and a discussion focusing on sexual history and bad character evidence. After a refreshment break, at 5.00 we will split into smaller groups to discuss particular questions on which the Commission is consulting, with a short plenary to conclude. You are welcome to attend either part or both.

This will be a hybrid event – please come in person if you can, but a link will be provided for online attendance.

Suggestions for discussion topics are welcome. Please email

Date and time 

Thursday 6 July 2023

3pm – 6:30pm


Business and Law Building City Campus East

Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PS

How to register 

Register for free via the Eventbrite page. 

Lecture / Talk Details


Consultation events


6 July 2023