Susan Breau, Head of the School of Law, visited the College of Law at Sultan Qaboos University recently. Ways to develop academic and research ties between the two institutions were discussed. Members of the College of Law at SQU were interested to hear about the Pro Bono projects and other opportunities for law students in Reading. Professor Breau said that collaboration with a law school in Oman is very important for the School of Law considering the importance of Oman as a mediator in resolving the crisis in the Middle East and the Arab region. She also said that Reading is offering the first postgraduate program in Global Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management and that many Omani students are pursing higher studies in law at the School of Law at the University of Reading.
Today the Supreme Court and the Privy Council reversed 30 years of English case law and effectively abolished the doctrine of ‘joint enterprise’ in murder cases.
Dr Beatrice Krebs, a lecturer at the University of Reading’s School of Law, had previously argued in two articles, cited to the Court by the appellants, that the Privy Council took a wrong turn in Chan Wing-Siu and that the House of Lords was wrong to have followed that decision in Powell and Rahman.
Dr Krebs said: “It was wrong to equate foresight of a killing by the principal offender with intention that the principal offender commit the killing. Consequently the threshold for conviction of secondary parties was lower than that required for convicting the person who actually wielded the knife or gun. Both these arguments were accepted by the Court.
“The Supreme Court acknowledged that, in contrast to previous courts that considered joint enterprise, it had ‘had the benefit of a far deeper and more extensive review of the topic’.
“I am proud to have assisted Ameen Jogee’s defence team, led by Felicity Gerry QC, and I am grateful to Felicity for giving me the opportunity to help change the law.”
Read Dr Beatrice Kreb’s landmark paper: Mens rea in joint enterprise: a role for endorsement?