The purpose of the Queen Mary Criminal Justice Society is to bring criminal justice issues to the attention of students across the College (primarily in law), and to promote discussion of contentious questions within criminal justice (this includes debates around the legalisation of certain drugs, the decriminalisation of prostitution, miscarriages of justice, racial and ethnic stereotyping, appropriate sentences and restorative justice). We arrange visits to prisons (Pentonville) so that students could become familiar with prison conditions and issues, as well as visits to the Old Bailey and magistrates' courts. ‘Ridealongs’ will also be organised with local police. We hold talks on a wide variety of topics with speakers including drugs law reformers, former criminals, victims and their survivors, judges, magistrates and many others.
We deal with topics of interest to all students and staff as citizens, which could not form part of their formal studies either because they were not studying such topics (in Law or CCLS but not studying criminology; or students studying subjects other than Law), or which were not covered by the formal curriculum. There is a particular focus on topics which stir controversy and on which people hold strong opinions. We want to provide facilities through which members of the Queen Mary Criminal Justice Society could pursue topics of particular interest to them, either because of current events or a longstanding interest.
We target not only law students but also students doing sociology, history and psychology.