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Conviction or Acquittal: You Decide - at Aye Write 2023

Saturday, May 27, 2023 - 15:00 to 17:00
Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN
(From Left) Stuart Johnstone, Hayley Ness, Tony Lenehan and Lee Curley

The Open University is pleased to support Glasgow Life's Aye Write Book Festival 2023 'Stuart Johnstone, Hayley Ness, Tony Lenehan KC, Dr James Munro and Dr Lee Curley - Conviction or Acquittal: You Decide'.

Join us for an interactive, immersive workshop exploring the verdicts available in a jury trial in Scotland. There will be an emphasis on exploring the topical ‘not proven’ verdict, and how it impacts on trials and convictions.

Edinburgh-based crime writer and OU graduate Stuart Johnstone, who spent many years working as a police officer, will open the session with a reading of one of his short stories that helps to set the context for what follows.

Then, in our mock trial, the audience will be split up into ‘juries’ and be presented with evidence as if for real. The juries will deliberate, and deliver their verdict to Dr Lee Curley, a psychologist with The Open University who is an expert in the complexities of jury decision making and will present talking points from his research into the not proven verdict, and the influences and biases that might be at play. Other contributors include Dr Hayley Ness, also from The Open University and a specialist in Applied Cognitive Psychology, with specialisms in face recognition and eyewitness memory.

Then follows an open panel discussion on the merits of the not proven verdict and an audience Q&A, followed by a short demonstration of the OU’s online 'Exploring the world of jury decision making' hub, where you can follow up your interest with a range of free and accessible resources. Our expert panel will be made up of academics, writers, and members of the legal community:

  • Stuart Johnstone, crime writer and former police officer
  • Hayley Ness, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at The Open University
  • Dr James Munro, Lecturer in Psychology at The Open University
  • Tony Lenehan, KC, criminal court lawyer

For tickets (£13.44) and more information please go to the Glasgow Life website

There's a wide range of free online learning on the OU’s site OpenLearn, including the short courses Writing what you knowStart writing fiction, and Legal skills and debates in Scotland.

The OU also offers a variety of courses and qualifications, such as the modules in Creative Writing, Law and Criminology. 

Contact us

If you are interested in potentially holding an event with us please email: