I see I haven’t blogged for months, and must get back into the habit. The months rush by. What have I been doing? College life goes on for Fellows into July as we worry about exam results and other important matters. I was also fortunate enough to go again to Singapore for a week in July, talking at the Third Criminal Conference organised by the Singapore Academy of Law. I spoke on white collar crime and corporate offenders. In what sense are white collar crimes different from other crimes? Certainly corporate offenders are different from human offenders. I discussed the need for ethical compliance strategies as much as criminal law, and explored new (controversial) ways of dealing with corporate offenders, such as Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs). It was also an opportunity to pursue our plans for a Lee Kuan Yew Fitzwilliam Fund.
I spent the rest of the summer on a fascinating project for the Parole Board, investigating the barriers to release for indeterminate-sentence prisoners. In June 2016 there were still 4,000 IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) prisoners in prison, even though the sentence was abolished in 2012. It was abolished as a sentence available to judges: but that does not mean that it doesn’t remain a reality for those still serving it. The Parole Board has to decide whether to release life sentence prisoners based on a test which provides that they must be satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the person should be confined. Over the past 6 years the IPP release rate has increased from 12% to 38%. The number of IPPs released increased to 747 in 2015-2016 (figures include recalled IPPs). Based on current release rates, the Parole Board estimates that the number of IPPs in prison will be in the region of 2,000 by 2020. But once released, they are hardly free – the number of prisoners recalled to prison increases as the release rate goes up….
So that kept me very busy over the summer, sitting in on hearings held by video links: three-way videos from the Parole Board both linking to the prison where the prisoner is with his (my sample was all men) lawyer and Offender Supervisor, whilst his Offender Manager (probation officer) is usually in her office. There’s lot to write about…
I went round the world swiftly with the Middle Temple (where I am a Bencher) in September: a few days judging moots at Pepperdine School of Law, and alumni events in Santa Monica and San Francisco, followed by an Amity Visit of the Middle Temple back in Singapore which explored recent developments in law and practice in the UK and Singapore. This time I discussed another subject dear to my heart, joint enterprise liability following the decision of the Supreme Court in Jogee  UKSC 8.
I came home just in time for the alumni week-end and the beginning of term round of meetings. We are now half way through term. I think the College is calm (famous last words) despite the slight delay in the completion of the marvellous B and C staircase. My parole report is with the Parole Board, but I have a heavy teaching load (only 27 lectures over 8 weeks, since you ask, but I’m still supervising three different undergraduate papers as well).
And last week I had my first ever visit to Japan – for three nights. It was a wonderful experience. The Bursar and I joined the splendid celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Tsuzuki Gakuen Group. The relationship between our two institutions now goes back 20 years and has given the College its splendid auditorium and generations of students a chance to spend a year living and studying in Japan. It was so interesting to enjoy reunions with two distinct groups of alumni: our recent graduates studying hard in Fukuoka (and two other Fitz alumni, including Sebastian Dakin (Oriental Studies 1990), who has been working for Tsuzuki Gakuen for many years) and a wider group, across the ages, in Tokyo.
Now back to a stream of jolly pancake parties with freshers and a host of amazing extra-curricular activities. But I must get back to blogging.
I enjoy your comments!