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Archive for the ‘Law and Politics’ Category

FAST TRACK TO OBLIVION?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Those of us working within the court system will be fairly familiar with the latest supposed “efficiency” initiative being suggested by the Justice Department (more…)

Criminal Solicitors To Collect Bail Abuse Evidence.

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Emergency legislation passed in July, which confirmed that police station detention time is suspended when a suspect is released on pre-charge bail, is allegedly being ignored by police, according to the chairman of the Law Society’s criminal law committee.

As a result, criminal solicitors are being requested to gather evidence of police abuse of the bail rules, which aims to show that increasing numbers of offenders are being detained for ever increasing periods of time without good reason. … … (more…)

Criminal Defence In The Virtual Courtroom!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Trial adjournments and delays in court proceedings due to waiting upon crucial paper evidence can try the patience of all in the courtroom. According to a government minister, the criminal justice system is long overdue for a digital makeover, and be brought into the 21st century.

Criminal solicitors and their clients may soon simply attend a virtual court by video link, with case files sent by email and tele-sentencing … … (more…)

Upholding The Right To Speak With A Criminal Solicitor At the Police Station

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Rightful entitlement to a criminal defence lawyer by suspects arrested at a police station could be under threat from the Government in a vote taking place in Parliament on Wednesday 14th September. The Law Society is urging all criminal solicitors to lobby their MPs to vote against the motion, which appears to go against the latest EU ruling. … … (more…)

Criminal Solicitors Still Await Government IPP Review

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

One month on since the riots, latest Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures show nearly 1,700 people have appeared in court, more than half remanded in custody, leading to an all time high in total prisoner figures, now about 1,800 short of operational capacity. Meanwhile, the Government has said there will be enough prison cells available, “ … which will not necessarily change long-term estimates of the jail population”.

So no change then for the 6,000 prisoners still detained on IPP sentences long after they have served their minimum tariffs. … … (more…)

Criminal Defence Cases Become Clearer As Cameras Come To Court!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

A new transparency appears to be coming to the law courts. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has recently announced that a ban on broadcasting would be overturned to allow Court of Appeal judgments to be televised for the first time, with the aim of “ …improving public understanding and confidence in the justice system”.

As has already been voiced by the Criminal Bar Association, “Criminal barristers have nothing to fear from increased public scrutiny, which can only demonstrate the quality and integrity of our profession”. Liverpool solicitors and criminal defence lawyers around the land only hope it will also serve their client’s best interest too. … … (more…)

Mending Youth Reoffending Should Not Always Mean Sending Away!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

According to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, our “broken penal system” was responsible for the recent riots across England last month. Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures reveal that 77 per cent of defendants aged over 18 possessed prior criminal convictions or cautions and were a “hardcore” of known criminals “whose behaviour had not been changed by previous punishments”.

Closer inspection of the so-called “broken penal system” shows that in fact the frequency of re-offending fell by nearly 25 per cent in the last ten years. … … (more…)

Criminal Defence Of Greater Community Rights.

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Liverpool solicitors might soon be called upon to step into action as news of six sites, which have been shortlisted to be built in the Cheshire area for gipsy and traveller communities, comes just as the controversy surrounding the evictions at Basildon’s Dale Farm appears to be reaching a climax. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has publicly declared his support for the assimilation of the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law… … (more…)

Rioters Dealt Go Straight To Jail Cards!

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

There are some raised eyebrows, not to mention sleepless nights, among some criminal solicitors over the unusually high number of rioters being remanded in custody rather than being sent home ‘on bail’ under the present non-stop court hearing process. The police deny that their actions were a result of a deliberate strategy. Apparently, the reason was because the ‘threshold to charge was not met”. Of the 1,400 who have already appeared in court, less than half were bailed to return pending further inquiries.

Liverpool solicitors might also be wondering about thresholds with regard to the youngest suspected rioter, a 12-year-old boy who was arrested by Merseyside police and taken into custody on suspicion of violent disorder and criminal damage… … (more…)

Judgement Day For Court Magistrates?

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Following news that the mother jailed for handling shorts looted in the recent riots has now been freed on appeal, criminal defence lawyers predict the flood gates to open on lodging appeals against the swift and excessive sentencing seen last week. Added to which, the reporting of just 1,200 spare prison capacity means the sentencing approach of refusing bail in many more cases than is usual, could be leading to a conviction crisis! (more…)