The Justice Files Episode 1
  • Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth

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The Justice Files Episode 1 “Mrs Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co” was created to dramatise one of the most famous contract law cases for national and international use. The film is intended as a pilot for a planned series of dramatisations of famous legal cases that established leading precedents in English law. These cases, which have rich and remarkable background stories, had a huge impact not only in the UK but around the world, as they form a vital part of the law in over 60 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, India and much of Africa.

The Carlill case is fundamental to contract law and is thus taught and studied by hundreds of thousands of law teachers and students every year. This, as well as the other films in the series, will provide invaluable visual education resources, as well as many opportunities for impact research. In addition, their rich and diverse histories will provide fascinating insights for historians and excellent public engagement opportunities for museums and other public forums.

In collaboration with the University of Plymouth, Time-Lock Productions have used a mix of professional actors and volunteers, to create a dramatisation that is accurate, informative and engaging for viewers. Shot on location using internal and external shoots, this production utilised green screen overlays and CGI to help recreate the period, together with costumes and authentic dialogue. To aid the storytelling and understanding for the viewer, a press reporter has been added to help ‘interpret’ the legal and historic language used in the case.

The 24-minute film will be introduced by Rob Giles and Hugo de Rijke. A Q&A session will follow the premiere.

Screenings will take place at 15:00 and 18:30. Please select the one you wish to attend when registering using the above link.

A note about COVID safe attendance

The safety of our audience is important to us. We are delighted to welcome an in-person audience to this event in line with government guidelines regarding COVID-19. Hand sanitising stations are positioned throughout our venues and we recommend visitors use these frequently. Students, staff and visitors on campus should wear face coverings indoors within communal locations, and outside in crowded areas. Ventilation in our venue has been increased and it may feel cooler than usual so we advise visitors bring additional layers to ensure their comfort at this event. 

If you feel unwell, develop any COVID-19 symptoms, have been advised to self-isolate or have tested positive for coronavirus please contact us via email and we will cancel your registration.

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Today's events


About the film


  • Mrs Louisa Carlill - Sarah McCourt
  • Virginia Trent - Natalie Mae
  • Lord Justice Lindley - Charlie Coldfield
  • Lord Justice AL Smith - Nigel Firth
  • Lord Justice Bowen - David Pickles
  • Mr Finlay QC - Jonathan Ward
  • Henry Dickens QC - Hugo de Rijke
  • Owner of Carbolic Smoke Ball Co - Michael Terry
  • Clerk of the Court - Kevin Giles
  • Pharmacist - Gary Wyatt


Produced and edited by Rob Giles (Time-Lock Director)

On joining the University of Plymouth in 2005 Rob Giles specialised in digital learning in Higher Education and gained a PgCAP qualification, becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has developed interactive tools utilising variable programming and virtual reality methods to create challenging scenarios for the School of Law, Criminology and Government (now the School of Society and Culture). 

Rob created Time-Lock in 2016 in partnership with Professor Kim Stevenson, leading to the production of the international award-winning documentary ‘How Do You Fix a Town Like Plymouth?’ in 2018 and ‘A Returned Pilgrim – Nancy Astor and Plymouth’ in 2019 with Associate Professor Judith Rowbotham. These docudramas were period pieces and utilised green screen, animation and live actors to enhance the storytelling.


Executive Producer and Legal Dialogue Hugo de Rijke (Time-Lock Director)

Hugo de Rijke (BA, MA, FHEA, Barrister) is Associate Professor in Law at the University of Plymouth and a practising barrister at Clerksroom Chambers, Taunton. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Plymouth Law Review journal and is on the Editorial Board of the Law Teacher: International Journal of Legal Education. He is an External Examiner at City Law School, London University, and prior to that was Approval Panel Advisor at UCLAN Law School and BPP University, London. 

Hugo has taught various areas of law, including contract law, English legal system, advocacy (dispute resolution skills) and law, literature and film. As an ex-Chair and Committee Member of the Association of Law Teachers, he has a specialist interest in legal pedagogy and in the relationship between law and film, and has published and presented widely in this field.


Written and directed by Hugh Janes (Time-Lock Director)

Hugh Janes began in show business as a child actor aged ten and is now a playwright, screenwriter, producer and director. He has written over 60 stage plays including, The Haunting, Two of a Kind and The Perfect Murder

He was script consultant for BBC Children’s TV, developing shows and writing for the series Play Away. The BBC produced his plays Beyond the Wall and Conversations with a Stranger. In 2010 he co-founded RSH Films Ltd to make feature films and series for television. 

Hugh’s screenplays include All At Sea, starring Lauren Bacall and Brian Cox, and Curse of the Phoenix (aka Ghost Ship) Winner ‘Best Supernatural Film’, Houston Filmfest and Even Break starring Paul Nicholas and Nigel Planer. In 2021 his films Why Would You and The Justice Files were both shot, the latter he also directed.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. The University remains open with a safety-first approach to ensure our campuses are ‘covid-secure’ for our staff, students, local community and visitors, in accordance with government guidance.

University advice and guidance on COVID-19

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.