Mike Redmayne, 1967-2015

A leading legal scholar notable for his “taste for the absurd” as well as his erudition has died

July 2, 2015
Mike Redmayne, 1967-2015

Mike Redmayne was born in Carlisle on 18 June 1967 but grew up in Penrith and attended Sedbergh School. He studied law and French at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1990 and going on to a doctorate.

In 1993, he took up his first academic post at the University of Manchester, moving on to what is now Brunel University London in 1997. Two years later, he came to the London School of Economics as a lecturer before being rapidly promoted to professor of law.

As well as being a dedicated teacher, Professor Redmayne was widely recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in evidence and criminal procedure, who often drew on disciplines such as probability theory and psychology as well as criminology. The author of many acclaimed articles, he also distilled his insights into two landmark monographs.

Expert Evidence and Criminal Justice (2001) offers an overview of the use of scientific evidence in the criminal process and considers challenging questions about the function of exclusionary rules, how statistical evidence should be presented to juries and whether experts should be permitted to give evidence on the credibility of witnesses.

Character in the Criminal Trial, published only this year, provides a brilliantly nuanced analysis of the arguments for and against relying on character evidence. As well as looking in detail at the Criminal Justice Act 2003, it considers how far prosecutors should be allowed to bring up previous convictions and the weight they should have in sentencing, in the light of debates about stability of character; research on recidivism; and the value of risk assessment in classifying offenders as “dangerous”.

Along with extensive work on journals such as Law, Probability and Risk (where he was founding editor), The Modern Law Review and The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, Professor Redmayne was co-author of a standard work on The Criminal Process (fourth edition, with Andrew Ashworth, 2010).

Nicola Lacey, school professor of law, gender and social policy at the LSE, paid tribute to Professor Redmayne as someone who “used not only his erudition but his marvellous dry sense of humour and timing (not to mention his taste for the absurd, in which both criminal law and evidence cases of course excel) to excellent effect in his teaching. But in doing so, he never detracted from the core business at hand. That is why students revered him as well as enjoying him.”

Professor Redmayne died of cancer on 10 June and is survived by his wife Louise.

matthew.reisz@tesglobal.com

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