Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. If you are interested in submitting an opinion piece for publication, please see our editorial guidelines. We currently have 329 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


Policy at the mercy of fear: Déjà vu and the open prisons

Absconds from prison are at a historic low. The prison system in England and Wales does not offer an ‘open prison’ sentence, but individuals may be transferred to one of the 12 open prisons as part of their preparation for release. Since its inception, the open prison has been at the mercy of capricious policy. This tension is still apparent today. Events in 2022 led to the Justice Secretary imposing stricter transfer criteria; since then, the policy has been abandoned.

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Reality check: Russell Brand, survivors of rape and the criminal justice system

The historically problematic relationship between the criminal Justice System and complainants of rape surfaced again with the recent allegations made on the comedian and TV presented Russel Brand.

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Boris Becker’s prison revelations and the role of celebrities in prison reform

From Oscar Wilde to Boris Becker, Professor Rosalind Crone asks whether a celebrity prepared to share their lived experience of the prison system could play an important role in driving radical prison reform. 

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Taking Back Control of the Prosecution Process

Understandable frustration at a huge backlog in cases awaiting trial has led Chief Constables to demand that the charging process is taken back into the hands of police. History suggests, however, that this might not in itself provide solutions that ensure consistency and serve the public interest.

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H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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