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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Justice – A Citizen's Guide: introduction

Justice – A Citizen's Guide

Beginning in January, BBC Four is hosting a wide-ranging debate on the state of justice in Britain and the world today.

Among the highlights of Justice – A Citizen's Guide are: Justice – Fairness And The Big Society, a special televised debate hosted by renowned Harvard professor of government Michael Sandel, in which he casts an outsider's eye on contemporary Britain; Scenes From A Teenage Killing, Bafta-winning director Morgan Matthews' landmark film exploring the impact of teenage killings on families and communities across Britain; The Highest Court In The Land, in which four of the Justices of the Supreme Court talk frankly and openly about the nature of justice and what it means to them; and a range of Storyville documentaries exploring themes of justice from an international perspective.

Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, says: "In the 21st century, 'Who is the victim?' and 'What is fair?' are questions that get asked again and again. The requirements of 21st century human rights and the demands of the individual make decisions about justice and justness in our society hard to balance between people. As the home of distinctive and intelligent programming on contemporary culture, BBC Four is the perfect place to probe these philosophical dilemmas.

"Underlying so many everyday situations – from bankers' pay to terrorists' rights, anti-social behaviour to the right to protest – are some serious and deep-seated ethical questions which this season hopes to highlight, debate and explore.

"Now seems like the ideal time for us to do this: David Cameron has raised the issue of the Big Society; remuneration, spending cuts and the allocation of resources are dominating the headlines; Amnesty International is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary; and yet many people feel alienated from the principles governing justice and justness in our society, not only in the courts but also in such areas as taxation and levels of equality. I hope BBC Four will be at the forefront of a lively and timely debate."

Justice – A Citizen's Guide is produced in partnership with The Open University.


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