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Former Court of Protection Judge to deliver free lecture series

Mark Hedley 150x150 Tuesday 6 October 2015

Professor Sir Mark Hedley, the Former High Court Judge who made legal history in 2010 by being the first judge to allow journalists into the Court of Protection, is to pass his own judgement on the legal system at a series of free public lectures at Liverpool Hope University.  

As well as allowing the media to report on certain cases in the Court of Protection – which makes financial and welfare decisions for those who do not have the capacity to make choices for themselves - Sir Mark has also called for a simplification of the procedures that allow the media to report such cases.

Issues under discussion in the lectures will include televised trials, the infallibility of truth, state intervention in people’s private lives and whether the role of the Judge is fit for purpose in today’s society. 

Sir Mark has passed judgment on high profile cases in the field of criminal, family, end of life, medical, and mental capacity law, and has appeared as an expert on ITV documentary series Exposure. He is a visiting lecturer for the Judicial College and Honorary Professor of Law at Liverpool Hope University where he teaches on the LLB and delivers sessions on social justice on other courses.

Sir Mark said: “After 42 years working in the law, the last 21 as a full-time judge, I have found myself reflecting on the role of the modern judge, on the powers that they have acquired, the work they do and what society should and does expect of them. Retirement brings freedom to speak and, I hope, to speak frankly.  The lectures are intended in part to emphasise the powers given to the modern judge and to consider whether these truly have the consent of society.”

The lecture series begins on Tuesday 13th October and runs for five weeks.  Each lecture is stand alone and open to all:   

  • Tuesday 13th October: The Modern Judge: Power, Responsibility and Society’s Expectations
  • Tuesday 27th October: What is Truth? The Relationship Between Truth, Proof and Justice
  • Tuesday 10th November: The State and the Private Life: Should the State Intervene to Protect?
  • Tuesday 24th November: Welfare and Best Interests: Public, Personal or Judicial Values?
  • Tuesday 8th December: The Sentence of the Court: What is Society’s Purpose?

Sir Mark was educated at Framlingham College in Suffolk and Liverpool University (LLB Hons (1968) and Hon LLD (2002)). He was called to the Bar in 1969 and after Voluntary Service Overseas in the Sudan practised in Liverpool in 1971 – 92, being head of Chambers 1983 – 92. Appointed a circuit judge in 1992, he was course Director in family law at the Judicial Studies Board 1997 – 2002.

He was appointed a High Court judge in 2002 with special responsibility for family law in Wales (2002 – 7) and Greater London (2007 – 11). He is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University. As a High Court judge he has many reported decision in the field of criminal, family, medical and mental capacity law. He remains a visiting lecturer for the Judicial College and has given seminars and media interviews on family, mental capacity and medical law.

Sir Mark is a key member of the Everton community. After helping at the Shewsy Legal Advice Centre in 1972. In 1976, he became involved with West Everton Community Council, as secretary and then as treasurer. He also serves St Peter’s Church in Everton as an Anglican Reader and he is Chancellor of the Diocese of Liverpool.

Each lecture will start at  5.30pm (with drinks on arrival at 5pm) in the Senate Room at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD. Each lecture is free but please book your place via events@hope.ac.uk 0151 291 3050

Sir Mark also did an interview with Roger Phillips on Radio Merseyside, where he spoke about the lecture series and his career. Listen here. 

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