Visit / Research

Second, find out more about your location and its legal significance.

Research – Legal significance

If you have found your location through e.g. a law report then you already have some of the legal significance. You could still e.g. explore the subsequent life of the case, its academic reception, its impact on the development on the law.

If you found your location from some other source, you could do some background research. You will have some idea of the sort of legal events linked to the location, so use an encyclopaedia for further information. There are two obvious choices

Information on the location

Your research skills here are likely to involve use the Internet intelligently, i.e. using good search terms to find relevant information; differentiating between reliable and unreliable sources of information (treat anything other than official and news websites with some caution).

Visits

Get some fresh air. Take a couple of pals. Bring your cameras or phones and a notepad. Visit your location.

At the location, try to get an impression of the place and connect it with what you know about its legal significance. Don’t just look at the building or plot, have a look at where it sits in the neighbourhood. Is it what you expected? Does it give you any different perspectives on the legal event?

There is guidance on your legal rights in taking photographs in public places here. http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-and-the-law.html

The basic rule for photographing buildings is that you are entitled to do so as long as you are standing in a public place.

There has been some concern over the way in which police have dealt with photographers taking pictures of what might be regarded as sensitive locations, and this could include e.g. court or government buildings. The Association of Chief Police Officers have stated that; ‘Officers should be reminded that it is not an offence for a member of the public or journalist to take photographs of a public building and use of cameras by the public does not ordinarily permit use of stop and search powers.’ http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-anti-terrorism.html

Please use your common sense if approached by the police or any person connected to the property you are photographing. Our advice is to allay any concerns by explaining why you are taking the pictures, whilst also pointing out your right to take pictures in a public place.

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