Unwritten Law

Helena Kennedy QC presents four dramatised features about trials that brought about a change in the law because of changing social attitudes.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
0101A Case Of Blasphemous Obscenity19980710

In 1976, Mary Whitehouse brought a private prosecution for blasphemous libel against Dennis Lemon and Gay News, who published an allegedly obscene poem about Christ.

0102A Bunch Of Twigs19980717

The first appeal against birching on the Isle of Man sparked demonstrations and even the threat of secession from the UK.

But the growing anti-birching lobby had found a cause.

With David Antrobus and Gareth Armstrong.

Director Peter Kavanagh

0103The Case Of The Ladies' Directory19980724

by Rib Davis.

In the new liberal climate of 1959, a publisher tries to defend his magazine's offering prostitutes services.

With Iwan Thomas and Charles Simpson.

Director Peter Kavanagh

0104 LAST85 Burglaries And A Phone Tap19980731

The trial of eight people in 1978 was to launch a much more important investigation into the secrecy of the state.

0201I've Only Just Learned To Cry19991201

The tragic story of Emma Humphries, who was tried at Nottingham Crown Court for the murder of her boyfriend in 1985.

She never denied killing him but pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of provocation.

With Gemma Saunders and Tracy Wiles.

Written by Rib Davis.

Director: Janet Whitaker

0202Only A Phase19991208

by Rib Davis.

In 1975 in Belfast, a group of young men met in a bar.

They decided to appeal to the British Government for gay rights in Northern Ireland to bring them in line with England and Wales.

It took six years.

With Stephen Hogan and Robert Patterson.

Director Janet Whitaker.

Written by Rib Davis.

0203Breaking The Chain19991215

by Rib Davis.

A young Jehovah's Witness dies after being stabbed and refusing a blood transfusion.

Is this murder, or was the fault partly hers? With Julian Wadham, Elizabeth Bell and Gemma Saunders.

Director: Peter Kavanagh.

Written by Rib Davis.

Director: Janet Whitaker

0204 LASTOn Self Deliverance19991222

by Rib Davis.

In the 1970s, Exit published a booklet offering practical help to those wishing to commit suicide - technically a prisonable offence.

How did the courts respond? With Tim Treloar, Gavin Muir and Iwan Thomas.

Director: Peter Kavanagh.

Written by Rib Davis.

Director: Janet Whitaker