Centre for Theology and Public Issues is hosting a series of debates.

Added on August 6th, 2010


Crime and punishment is one of those issues always in the news: arming the police, the privatization of prisons, the 'three strikes' law, whether prisoners should be allowed to smoke - all are subjects of current debate, along with the wider question of how we can reduce crime and make our society safer.

Seeking to foster informed and constructive debate on this topic, the Centre for Theology and Public Issues is making it the subject of the first of a new series of public debates it is hosting. Called 'The Public Square', these debates will bring together a panel of people representing a range of views and perspectives on the topic in hand, and each will be asked, not simply to rehearse established positions, but engage in the dialogue in a spirit of seeking to find practical ways forward to the questions asked.

Another distinctive feature of these debates is that the precise questions the panel will discuss will be decided by YOU, the audience. If you are intending to come to the debate and have an issue you would like the panel to consider, you are invited to submit your question in advance and be prepared to ask it on the night. Panel members will know in advance the broad topics which will be raised but not the precise wording of the questions - so there will be a degree of spontaneity to the proceedings!

The first 'Public Square', on crime and punishment, will be on Monday, 16 August, from 5.00-6.15 pm in the Allen Hall Theatre on campus, and the panel will comprise: Michael Woodhouse MP; Clare Curran MP; restorative justice facilitator Janet Sim Elder; Dunedin-based barrister Anne Stevens; and President of the Howard League for Penal Reform and Manager of Community Law Canterbury, Paul O'Neill.

Please submit your question to the Department by 5.00 pm, Monday 9 August. Questions will be selected and prioritized by a small panel to ensure as broad a range of issues as possible is covered, and you will be notified if yours is chosen by Friday 13 August.
Future 'Public Square' panels are planned, and if you have ideas for themes and/or panel members please also send these through to this address. I look forward to seeing you on Monday 16th for the first!

Andrew Bradstock