Garden Court barristers speak at 'Art Not Evidence: Issues and Implications of Prosecuting Rap'

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Our Keir Monteith KC chaired the sold out event, with our Owen Greenhall and Audrey Cherryl Mogan of the Garden Court Crime and Civil Liberties Teams speaking.

Share This Page

Email This Page

This event was jointly held by London School of Economics (LSE) Law School in partnership with Garden Court Chambers on 30 April 2024. It provided information and insight on the criminal justice response to rap and popular culture, and the current efforts for legal reform. It also provided practical information and tools for those who work in the criminal legal system, music industry, or who create (or support those who create) music.

In the second session, attendees heard from our Audrey Cherryl Mogan, who highlighted the importance of instructing rap experts in criminal trials. Audrey is a founding member of Art Not Evidence, and is a criminal defence barrister with particular expertise defending victims of trafficking, protestors, and vulnerable defendants.

Our Owen Greenhall discussed rap, crime, contempt and Article 10. Owen's broad practice encompasses all aspects of the criminal justice system. Owen has particular expertise in public order trials, particularly those concerning protests and cases concerning allegations of police misconduct.

The session was chaired by our Keir Monteith KC. Keir co-authored the report ‘Racial Bias and the Bench’ as a Simon Fellow at the University of Manchester, with Professor Eithne Quinn of the University of Manchester. Keir is now an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester. He is a writer, campaigner and a founding member of Art Not Evidence.

The Art Not Evidence campaign launched at the end of 2023 to advocate for a restriction on the use of creative expression as evidence in criminal trials. The campaign addresses the criminalisation of rap music, including the increasing use of lyrics and music videos as evidence against young people accused of crime. By disregarding the culture and conventions of the genre, and by asking courts and juries to take the music literally, police and prosecutors not only undermine the positive aspects of rap, denying its status as an art form and stifling creativity, but also perpetuate harmful racist stereotypes and create a risk of wrongful conviction.

Related News

Related Areas of Law

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards