Editors: Jon Robins and Brian Thornton

Designer: Andrew Stocks

Illustrator: Isobel Williams

Photographer: Andrew Aitchison

Subeditor: Guy Skelton

Publisher: Justice Gap


We are very grateful for the following for their generous support. Proof magazine was sponsored by Cardiff Law School’s Innocence Project. It was produced with the Winchester University’s crime and justice research centre. Thanks to QualitySolicitors Jordan.


You can buy here – £15, including P&P




Ricin spread


The first issue of Proof magazine is a collection of essays on the theme of Justice in a Time of Moral Panic from a range of contributors from a range of backgrounds and different, often contrasting views. Contributors were invited to write for the collection. They were sent a commissioning brief explaining the idea of the collection of essays based around a central theme of ‘justice and moral panic’.





The brief explained:

‘Above all, we want the collection to stimulate a debate about an important and difficult issue. As part of the broader JusticeGap project, we want to raise awareness about the important subject of miscarriages of justice and, in particular, the dangers of a pendulum swing towards the rights of victims at the expense of the rights of the accused.’




Contributors were free to agree, disagree and respond however they wanted to the brief.

From the introduction by David Jessel:

‘I admit that I thought ‘moral panic’ was pushing it a bit, when I was asked to write the introduction for this compilation brought together by the excellent (and indeed prize-winning) Justice Gap.
But as I sit down at the laptop, Radio 4 announces that the police are standing outside Ted Heath’s home and appealing for victims of the former prime minister’s sex crimes to come forward. Salem, it seems, has come to Salisbury. Only this time, the witch-hunt isn’t for the culprits – the search is for victims of crimes which haven’t yet even been alleged.’








Something good has to come of this Simon Warr


In Memoriam Noel Hartnett David Rose


I don’t want to see new myths replace old Alison Saunders


Savile, Bryn Estyn & the danger of modern witch-hunts

Mark Barlow and Mark Newby


Justice cannot be time-limited Richard Scorer


Victim or complainant? Researching historic abuse allegations                      

Mark Smith, Steve Kirkwood, Clare Llewellyn, and Ros Burnett


Innocent until proven dead Susanne Cameron-Blackie


Victimology and ‘justice as therapy’ Barbara Hewson


The abuse pendulum Peter Garsden


Thinking the unthinkable Dennis Eady


‘Jihadi John’: how to make a moral panic Alan Grattan


Telling the truth about the scum Chris Horrie


Institutionalising miscarriages of justice Bob Woffinden


Justice, moral panic and the Irish Paul May


The ricin ‘terror plot’ that never was Fiona Bawdon


Does the press really need to depict kids as monsters? Penelope Gibbs




Proof magazine, issue 2 (Out of sight) will explore the limits of open justice and those parts of the justice system hidden from view.


A view of D wing from the exercise yard at Wandsworth Prison. It has a capacity of 1456 prisoners. P{ic by Andrew Aitchison

A view of D wing from the exercise yard at Wandsworth Prison. It has a capacity of 1456 prisoners. Pic by Andrew Aitchison


Author: Jon Robins

Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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  • Chloe Mason January 18, 2016 8:12 am

    Hi Justice Gap,

    Good-looking essays.
    Does ‘moral panic’ here refer only to sexual abuse?
    My research is also on a case during a time of moral panic, during wartime and the use of secret agents.

    Possibly the essays by Woffinden & Scorer may be of assistance to me, so how can I download please?

  • Jon Robins January 18, 2016 3:16 pm

    Hi Chloe,

    No, it’s wider than that. You can order a copy by the link I have just added above – or else click on the ads on the home page.

    Thanks very much for your interest.


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