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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Justice – A Citizen's Guide: other programmes

Scenes From A Teenage Killing

Scenes From A Teenage Killing

Scenes From A Teenage Killing is Bafta-winning director Morgan Matthews' landmark film exploring the impact of teenage killings on families and communities across Britain. It is an emotional journey that chronicles every teenager who died as a result of violence in 2009 in the UK. Harrowing actuality filmed in the immediate aftermath is combined with moving testimony from the spectrum of people affected in the wake of violent death. Filmed over 18 months, this documentary is the BBC's most ambitious film to date about youth violence.

The film questions society's attitudes towards young people whilst probing the meaning behind terminology such as "gang violence" or "gang-related", often used in connection with teenage killings. It reveals the reality of the teenage murder toll across one year, connecting the viewer with the people behind the headlines and the emotional consequences of violent death. Differing perspectives from families, friends, passers-by and the police are explored with intimacy and depth. Together, they reflect the collective impact of a teenage killing on an entire community.

Travelling the length and breadth of Britain, the film meets people of different religion, race and class. It tells the story of Shevon Wilson, whose misreported murder divided a community; the teenage girl who discovered she was pregnant to her boyfriend shortly after he was stabbed to death; the nurse who fought to save a dying teenager stabbed outside her home; and the outspoken East End twins who lost a mother and daughter in the same attack.

The documentary names every teenager to die as a result of violence in 2009. Haunting footage of shrines is testament to the countless families who continue to suffer as a result of violence. Powerful and compelling, Scenes From A Teenage Killing is a poignant and brutal reminder of the needless waste of young potential.

The Highest Court In The Land

They are the UK's most senior judges and the most powerful arbiters of justice in the country. Now, for the first time, four of the Justices of the Supreme Court talk frankly and openly about the nature of justice and what it means to them. The film offers a revealing glimpse of the human characters behind the judgments and assesses the operation of the court over its first 15 months. The judges talk about recent controversial rulings – on MPs' expenses, prenuptial agreements and control orders for terrorist suspects. And they address the relationship between the judiciary and the government, parliament and Europe.

Outside The Court

Filmmaker Marc Isaacs spends three months outside Highbury Magistrates Court in London as he takes an intimate look at the lives and motivations of those passing through the legal system. On the steps outside the court, he speaks to armed robbers, long-term thieves, addicts and anxious relatives all awaiting judgment.

Whilst waiting for their cases to be heard they reveal their lives through tense and personal conversations with the filmmaker. Their stories illuminate the cases that magistrates hear daily. An alcoholic tells of his remorse at taking two knives onto the streets to attack a security guard; a father waits anxiously to hear if his son will be released; and an addict banned from seeing his only son hopes for a jail sentence and a chance for rehabilitation.

Marc Isaacs's film delves into the character and circumstances of those brought before the court. The more you get to know the people in this film, the harder it becomes to make "easy" judgements about them.


Throughout Justice – A Citizen's Guide, BBC Storyville will be exploring themes of justice from an international perspective. Among the highlights are: When They Are Free, an inside look at Amnesty International 50 years after its foundation; The Prosecutor, a fascinating look at Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court – his jurisdiction is the world but he has no police force; Comrade Duch, the story of the Cambodian maths teacher turned Khmer Rouge commandant; Sergio, a portrait of Sergio Viera de Mello, the man who could descend into the most dangerous places, charm the worst war criminals and somehow protect the ordinary people to whom he devoted his life; Law Of The Dragon, a rare insight into the lives of China's rural poor, seen through the prism of its legal system, courtesy of award-winning filmmaker Weijun Chen; and Give Up Tomorrow, a moving investigative documentary that traces the story of Paco Larrañaga, who was sentenced to death at age 19 for the alleged kidnapping of two sisters in a sensational trial in the Philippines in 1998.

Crime & Punishment – The Story Of Capital Punishment

Timeshift digs into the archive to trace the extraordinary story of the ultimate sanction.

At the beginning of the 19th century you could still be hanged in Britain for offences such as stealing a sheep or shooting a rabbit. Even children as young as seven were sent to the gallows. The last hanging in this country took place as recently as 1964.

By opting for a dispassionate history, rather than staging the usual polarised debate, this programme breaks new ground with its fascinating attention to detail, such as the protocols of the public execution or the "science" of hanging.

With contributions from both sides of the argument, The Story Of Capital Punishment provides an essential guide to a subject that still divides us.

Crime & Punishment – The Story Of Corporal Punishment

Timeshift lifts the veil on the taboo that is corporal punishment. What it reveals is a fascinating history spanning religion, the justice system, sex and education. Today it is a subject that is rarely discussed in public, but it's not that long since corporal punishment was a routine part of life.

Surprising and enlightening, the programme invites viewers to understand better how corporal punishment came to be a part of everyday life for so long

Re-Trial By Television – The Rise And Fall Of Rough Justice

It is almost 30 years since the BBC's Rough Justice team began investigating miscarriages of justice. The programme can claim to have achieved the overturning of the convictions of 18 people in 13 separate cases. The series continued for over 25 years until November 2007.

Timeshift looks at the creation of this extraordinary series and reveals what a shock to the system it was. Featuring contributions from many of those involved, Re-Trial By Television asks how it was that a television programme took it upon itself to question one of the oldest judicial systems in the world.

The programme is also an opportunity to look at how much television and journalism have changed since Rough Justice was first commissioned. It may only be 30 years ago, but this is a glimpse into a bygone era.

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