Helping child witnesses: ‘One girl gave evidence with a hamster on her lap’ – The Guardian

‘They might be victims of rape, or witnesses to murder. But can they really be relied upon to tell the truth at trial?’

Full Story

The Guardian, 17th February 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Woman abandons rape case in despair at legal process – The Guardian

Posted February 15th, 2018 in criminal justice, delay, news, victims by sally

‘A woman who endured five years of delays due to Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan police errors in pursuing a rape case is abandoning the legal process in despair.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 15th February 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Private probation firms fail to cut rates of reoffending – The Guardian

Posted February 5th, 2018 in contracting out, criminal justice, news, probation, recidivists by sally

‘The vast majority of companies set up to tackle reoffending as part of a controversial drive to privatise the probation service have failed to meet their targets, in a substantial embarrassment for the government.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 3rd January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Underfunded justice system ‘crumbling’, top criminal barrister says – The Guardian

‘Failures to disclose evidence in rape prosecutions are a sign of the “dystopian disaster” engulfing the criminal justice system that has been caused by chronic government underfunding, the head of the criminal bar has warned.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 29th January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

One in three people with legal problems in UK develop health issues – report – The Guardian

Posted January 29th, 2018 in civil justice, criminal justice, health, legal aid, mental health, news, reports by sally

‘Almost one-third of those with legal problems in the UK report developing a stress-related or physical illness as a result of their experience, according to a new international survey comparing people’s perceptions of justice around the world.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 29th January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Disclosure – Joint statement from Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions and Sara Thornton, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council – Crown Prosecution Service

‘”Today we met with Chief Constables to discuss further how we can improve the disclosure process.’

Press release

Crown Prosecution Service, 24th January 2018

Source: www.cps.gov.uk

Bar Council response to HMCTS consultation – The Bar Council

Posted January 24th, 2018 in budgets, civil justice, courts, criminal justice, press releases by tracey

‘The surprise announcement of plans for yet more court closures has prompted concerns from the Bar over how much harder it may become for vulnerable people to access their local court, and whether the drive to cut costs will impact the quality of our system of justice.’

Full press release

The Bar council, 19th January 2018

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Private probation firms face huge losses despite £342m ‘bailout’ – The Guardian

Posted January 18th, 2018 in contracting out, criminal justice, news, probation, select committees, sentencing by tracey

‘Private probation companies responsible for supervising more than 200,000 offenders in England and Wales face total losses of more than £100m, even after a £342m “bailout” by the Ministry of Justice, MPs have been told.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 17th January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

John Worboys’ victims hope for reversal of decision to release him – The Guardian

Posted January 15th, 2018 in criminal justice, news, parole, probation, release on licence, victims by sally

‘Victims of the serial sex attacker John Worboys have welcomed a possible reversal of the Parole Board’s decision to release him this month amid growing calls at Westminster for a urgent review of the case.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 14th January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

The Liam Allan case is the tip of the iceberg – Legal Voice

Posted January 10th, 2018 in budgets, criminal justice, disclosure, news, police, prosecutions, rape by sally

‘In December 2017 there was a considerable outcry following the case of Liam Allan, a middle class white man studying criminology who had been charged with rape. Crucial material was not disclosed or properly reviewed by the police which totally undermined the case against the defendant and the case was dropped. The Director of Public Prosecutions apologised, an enquiry into disclosure is to follow, the police were slammed, and the issue was raised with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. Even the Daily Mail got in on the act and other cases have also been dropped since.’

Full Story

Legal Voice, 10th January 2018

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

The open justice principle: a child’s crimes and a parent’s misdemeanour – Transparency Project

‘What legal principles connect publicity for the 17 year-old Charlie Pearce (born 3 July 2000), a double rapist and attempt murderer (R v Pearce (Press Restrictions) Haddon-Cave J (7 December 2017)) and privacy for a stalking mother who, with her cohabitant (‘Mr JM’) tried to disrupt her 10 year-old daughter T’s foster placement (Re T (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1889 (23 November 2017)).’

Full Story

Transparency Project, 31st January 2018

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

‘Race bias’ in justice system: Government to unveil action – BBC News

Posted December 19th, 2017 in criminal justice, diversity, equality, judiciary, news, racism, reports by sally

‘The justice secretary has pledged to implement a “key principle” of “change or explain” when racial discrimination is found in the justice system.’

Full Story

BBC News, 19th December 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

A quick chat with the police – or an interview? You need a lawyer – Legal Voice

Posted December 11th, 2017 in consultations, criminal justice, legal representation, news, police interviews by sally

‘When the police investigate a criminal offence, it may not be necessary to formally arrest a suspect. In the past, it would be common practice that those being questioned by the police were arrested. Now, with the introduction of the 28-day bail limit, it is becoming a more accepted method for the police to question suspects by way of a ‘voluntary interview’.’

Full Story

Legal Voice, 8th December 2017

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

‘Liberties of England at risk’ without more money for lawyers, warns former appeal judge – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted December 6th, 2017 in criminal justice, judges, legal profession, news, reports by sally

‘Bach Commission vice-chair and former judge Sir Henry Brooke has demanded action to reverse assaults on the criminal justice system, claiming the ‘liberties of England are at risk’ because of cuts in funding.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 4th December 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Jail people who attack police dogs for up to five years, MPs say – Daily Telegraph

Posted December 4th, 2017 in animals, bills, criminal justice, news, police, sentencing by sally

‘Criminal suspects who attack police dogs should be jailed for up to five years under a specific new offence, MPs will say this week. Sir Oliver Heald, a former solicitor general, is to call for legislation to cover those who injure “service animals”, including guide dogs and animals assisting police and military officers.’

Full Story

Daily Telegraph, 2nd December 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Speech by the Lord Chief Justice: Justice – Mental Health and Fair Trial Report – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted December 1st, 2017 in criminal justice, mental health, speeches by tracey

‘Speech by the Lord Chief Justice: Justice – Mental Health and Fair Trial Report.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 28th November 2017

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Law Society to challenge government over fee cuts – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted November 29th, 2017 in criminal justice, fees, Law Society, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘The Law Society is taking High Court action against the government’s latest criminal legal aid reforms over concerns that the ‘fragile’ sector will not be able to withstand further cuts.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 28th November 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

UK justice system failing defendants with mental health issues – charity – The Guardian

‘Specialist prosecutors should review all decisions to charge suspects with mental health vulnerabilities and the defence of insanity should be amended, a law reform charity has said.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 27th November 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Guidance on unreliable or manipulated forensic toxicology tests – Family Law

‘The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has released guidance for those concerned about potentially unreliable forensic toxicology tests. This follows police investigations into the potential manipulation of forensic toxicology test results at two private companies, Trimega Laboratories Limited and Randox Testing Services. The test results were used as expert evidence in England and Wales. The guidance includes examples which aim to help people understand where toxicology tests may have been used as part of decision making in court cases, and provides advice for those who believe their case may have been adversely affected by manipulated test results.’

Full Story

Family Law, 24th November 2017

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Dubious forensic evidence? That’s what happens when we sell off public services – The Guardian

Posted November 27th, 2017 in contracting out, criminal justice, evidence, forensic science, news by sally

‘The recent mass review of 10,000 criminal case samples shows what can happen when commercial demands get in the way of vital public services.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 27th November 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com