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City academic shortlisted for an honour at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2013

Professor Adrian Keane has been nominated in the Academic Contribution category

Adrian-KeaneThe City Law School's Professor Adrian Keane has been shortlisted for the Academic Contribution accolade at The Halsbury Legal Awards 2013. The awards recognise and celebrate the value that people in law bring to society.

Professor Adrian Keane's nomination recognises the major contribution he has made to the reform of Chinese laws of criminal evidence and procedure. The changes include the adoption of fundamental rights like the privilege against self-incrimination and the right to an independent lawyer before interrogation. The reforms amount to a re-balancing of the Chinese criminal justice system.

Professor Carl Stychin, Dean of The City Law School, said the nomination is well deserved:

"Professor Keane has an international reputation as an academic expert on the law of evidence. He has written extensively on the subject and his works are regarded as highly authoritative points of reference by fellow academics, practitioners and judges. It is exciting to witness his research and expertise producing a tangible impact on the justice system in China."

In 2011, Professor Keane was selected as the only non-Chinese scholar to participate in a project to be carried out by the Centre for Criminal Procedure Reform (CCPR) at Renmin University, Beijing. The project related to coerced confessions, the use of evidence derived from these confessions, illegally obtained evidence and the use of evidence obtained through special investigative measures such as tapping phones and using undercover police officers and entrapment. The aim was to encourage a more uniform understanding among the Chinese judiciary of how the rules in these areas should be interpreted and implemented, and the drafting of proposals for reform of the Criminal Procedure Law.

In 2012, the project achieved various important outcomes: a comprehensive analysis of the problems relating to implementation of the relevant rules; practical suggestions for judicial application of the rules; and, most significantly, acceptance by the National People's Congress of some of its proposals for reform of the law. The amendments were included in the revised Criminal Procedure Law that was adopted in March 2012 and came into force on 1 January 2013.

The changes amount to a major re-balancing of the Chinese criminal justice system in favour of the accused. They also strengthen the hand of the judiciary in relation to the police authorities and the procurator's office: for the first time, a trial judge has the power to compel all but the immediate family of the accused to give evidence - a power of special importance when the judge wants to go beyond the written statements of those who arrested and interrogated the accused.

The winners of The Halsbury Legal Awards 2013 will be announced on the 8th May. There are 15 categories marking the achievements of individuals, firms, chambers and other organisations whose expertise has made a contribution to the law and to the law's place in the wider community.

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