Speakers Corner - Adrian Flasher from the CPS

Dated: 13 December 2021

Woodhouse A level law students (and students interested in studying law at university) had the privilege last week of receiving a talk on the nature of consent, brilliantly delivered by Adrian Flasher, who is a Specialist Prosecutor and Crown Advocate in the International Justice and Organised Crime Division (IJOCD) at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The CPS is the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. It is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The main responsibilities of the CPS are to provide legal advice to the police and other investigative agencies during the course of criminal investigations, to decide whether a suspect should face criminal charges following an investigation, and to conduct prosecutions both in the magistrates' courts and the Crown Court.
As part of IJOCD, Adrian prosecutes members of the most serious organised crime groups operating in England and Wales. The majority of these cases are investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and often involve drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and modern slavery, sexual exploitation and cyber-crime. 
It is fair to say then, that Adrian is an incredibly knowledgable speaker, and the students became immersed in the nitty-gritty of consent laws.
Woodhouse Speaker's Corner reporter for this visit, and interested student, Sevil, told us (very eloquently)...
"The talk was vastly enlightening, as whilst students had previously engaged in discussions on consent, for the majority, this had solely been from a moral and safeguarding angle, with little or no reference to the nature of consent in terms of legislation.
Through Flasher’s unveiling of the essence of consent in the realm of law, students felt they have now gained insight regarding the responsibilities of giving and seeking consent, coupled with the legal consequences one would encounter if choosing to breach the law. Students also regard the talk as enriching by virtue of the prominent streak of care and guidance displayed throughout, which encouraged them to reflect on the weight of consent and the steps one would take hereafter to exhibit full cognition and appreciation of the law. This guidance was illustrated for instance, when, prior to giving consent, Flasher requested the audience to reflect on whether they would make an important decision based on how they feel at that moment. "I would not sign a mortgage whilst drunk, so why would I give consent for sex?" he asserted.
Upon discussing the speech with my peers, many articulated a common sentiment, by which they framed Adrian Flasher’s speech as one which forged safe and healthy discussions and equipped them with the comfort and liberty to ask questions throughout. Furthermore, students noted that Flasher was successful in creating a fertile ground for self-reflection and an enhancement of clarity regarding the nature of consent in law and the prominence it holds for both parties involved."
Adrian was good enough to hang around at the end of his talk and give students the benefit of his wisdom by answering further questions, and we thank him for taking time out of his obviously busy and important schedule to address our law students.
Adrian himself commented as he left "I speak at a lot of schools and I must say Woodhouse students were one of the most engaged audiences I’ve had. They asked some smart questions." 

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