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If you’ve ever wondered how real pathologists solve murders, want to know more about the gruesome job of the hangman in times past or have a go at running the Department of Justice, head to Berwins Salon North in Harrogate later this month.

Harrogate International Festivals is offering RSA Fellows the next two Berwins Salon events for just £30; Fellows would need to quote ‘SALON30’ when booking.

Part two of Harrogate International Festival’s popular Berwins Salon North autumn series – an intellectual club-style night brought to the north from London -  focuses on Punishment.

Three brilliant expert speakers will take to the stage for 30 minutes each on Thursday 29 October at the Crown Hotel raising some intriguing and complex questions about the path to criminal justice.

Harrogate International Festivals literature manager, Gemma Rowland, said:

Berwins Salon North is a revolutionary movement for the heart and mind. The Salon events consist of a night of the most stimulating ideas in art, science and psychology designed to change your life for the better.

This series of ‘Crime, Punishment and Retribution’ is proving fascinating. Last month’s Salon was a huge success and sparked debate about the realities of solving serious crimes.

In the upcoming Salon the audience can take the next step and experience the tricky task of making decisions about the punishment of offenders. If you have never been to a Salon and you are hungry for knowledge, you will love the buzz of the club format – it’s organized intellectual stimulation with a bar thrown in.

Dr James Grieve will explain how advances in science have transformed the way we can detect crimes. Drawing from his work as a police pathologist and a Forensic Medicine academic at Aberdeen University, James will share his knowledge on the outcomes of the numerous post-mortem investigations he has worked on and the path to bringing the right party to justice.

Radio 4 comedian and writer Wil Hodgson brings his hit Edinburgh show You Will Be Taken from this Place. He will look at the gruesome history of Britain’s hangmen to deliver the true histories of those tasked by the state until 1964 to deliver the ultimate punishment, revealing a rarely discussed side of the British justice system.

And Gill Attrill OBE will ask Salon-goers what choices they would make if they ran the Ministry of Justice and reveal how those choices would work out. She works at the heart of the National Offender Management Service as a forensic psychologist.  Berwins Salon North is the brainchild of award-winning screenwriter, author and cultural curator Helen Bagnall. She said:

Salon exists to get the biggest ideas from the UK's best academics, writers and experts in front of audiences. They allow everyone who takes part access to information to make up their own minds about the big themes of life.  We curate interesting content for the interested.

Berwins, one of Harrogate’s leading solicitors, came on board this autumn as title sponsor of Harrogate International Festivals’ Berwins Salon North series. Berwins, who pride themselves on being ‘no ordinary lawyers’, were drawn to the innovation, debate and big ideas the series showcases.  The final Salon in the series - Retribution - will be staged on Thursday, November 26. Speakers will include Dr Scilla Elworthy, three time nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, criminal lawyer Neil White and Robert E Smith, renowned world expert on artificial intelligence.  

Tickets at £18 are available on 01423 562303 or at

Please contact Gemma Rowland with any questions: 


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