Court reforms data collection progress “disappointing” – Legal Futures

Posted October 20th, 2020 in civil justice, courts, criminal justice, equality, HM Courts Service, news by sally

‘The government’s £1bn court reforms have had a “disappointingly slow” start in collecting the information required to ensure the justice system is fair, according to researchers.’

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Legal Futures, 20th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

UK needs judges to limit government power, says Lord Kerr – The Guardian

‘The last thing the country needs is a government in which ministers exercise “unbridled power”, the UK’s longest serving supreme court justice has said.’

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The Guardian, 19th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

PC Andrew Harper death: Why his family wants the law to change – BBC News

‘The sentences handed down to the killers of PC Andrew Harper have sparked much public debate and resulted in his widow and mother launching rival campaigns calling for tougher punishments for those who kill emergency services workers.’

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BBC News, 18th October 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

When is it too harsh to separate a child from their parent? – UK Human Rights Blog

‘There has, in recent years, been a proliferation of case law on appeals against deportation by foreign national criminals on grounds of private and family life. The statutory scheme is complex enough, but the various tests (“unduly harsh”, “very compelling circumstances”) have also been subject to extensive judicial gloss, leaving practitioners and judges to wade through a confusing sea of alphabet-country soup case names.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th October 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Barristers on AG panels “should consider resigning”, says top QC – Legal Futures

‘One of the country’s leading QCs has suggested that barristers on the Attorney General’s panels should consider resigning in protest at the government’s hostility to the law and lawyers.’

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Legal Futures, 13th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

David Greene: Condemning lawyers for doing their jobs is inherently dangerous – The Guardian

‘The new president of the Law Society on why it’s crucial to defend the rule of law in these febrile times.’

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The Guardian, 14th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Letter from the Chair of the Bar to the Prime Minister – The Bar Council

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The Bar Council, 9th October 2020

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Lawyers claim knife attack at law firm was inspired by Priti Patel’s rhetoric – The Guardian

‘Britain’s top lawyers have written to Priti Patel to express their concern after a knifeman threatened to kill an immigration solicitor last month in an attack colleagues say was directly motivated by comments made by the home secretary.’

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The Guardian, 10th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Government paying junior barristers less than national minimum wage – The Bar Council

‘Some barristers are being paid the equivalent of £6.25 per hour by the government, less than the National Minimum Wage, despite their central role in clearing the 500,000-plus backlog of cases in the criminal courts, says the Bar Council in its Spending Review submission to the Treasury.’

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The Bar Council, 1st October 2020

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Lord Sumption: justice faces digital trade-off – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The court system faces a trade-off between the quality of justice and the cost of delivering it, former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption has said in a biting assessment of virtual hearings. Speaking at the Commercial Litigators’ Forum, Lord Sumption (Jonathan Sumption QC) said if quality of justice was the only concern “we would go back to ordinary oral hearings.” ‘

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Law Society's Gazette, 5th October 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Communication, Education and Speech Difficulties in the Criminal Justice System – Oxford Human Rights Hub

Posted September 29th, 2020 in criminal justice, dyslexia, education, learning difficulties, news, prisons, statistics by sally

‘The level of educational achievement by incarcerated offenders in the UK is far lower than the average. In addition, 40-50% of prisoners assessed in John Rack’s research for the Dyslexia Institute (2005) were at or below levels of literacy and numeracy expected of an 11-year old. In 2007, the Prison Reform Trust reported that prison populations who showed serious deficits in literacy and numeracy reached up to 60% with a 30% dyslexia rate. This literacy problem extends to oral speech. People in the Criminal Justice System are ten times more likely to have a Speech and Communication Difficulty than members of the public. Research shows that 60% of young male offenders have a communication deficit as opposed to 3-10% of the general population (Available evidence for young female and adult offenders shows similarly high levels of speech-difficulties.) In the UK, low socio-economic status (SES), speech difficulty and school exclusions are co-morbid factors for offending. Having a speech difficulty also makes it near impossible for anyone with significant communication difficulties to navigate a legal system built upon excessive jargon without help. The criminal justice system must make structural interventions to protect the rights of persons with Speech and Communication Difficulty.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 17th September 2020

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Bethany Shiner and Tanzil Chowdhury: The Overseas Operation (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill and Impunity of the British State – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Overseas Operation (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in March 2020 and is due its second reading on 23 September 2020. In short, the Bill aims to limit prosecution and civil proceedings against military personnel, as well as to enable the UK government to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) during combat operations. The Bill emerges in response to what numerous Defence Secretaries have referred to as the “judicialisation of war”, a term which has been used to resist the application of the ECHR to overseas military combat operations. Despite the Bill being described as a way to protect soldiers from the “industry” of “vexatious claims” and preserve the ability of combat forces to fight wars effectively, there is every suggestion that this is really about precluding, or at least severely limiting, the accountability of the British state in its overseas military deployments.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 22nd September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Judge refuses to stand aside amid row over UK Covid trial delays – The Guardian

‘A senior judge has refused to step down from a case involving custody time limits after she replaced another judge who criticised the government over delays in delivering justice.’

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The Guardian, 18th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Covid court delays: Dead pigeons and four-year waits for justice – BBC News

Posted September 17th, 2020 in coronavirus, criminal justice, Crown Court, delay, news by michael

‘ “Paul” was accused of committing a domestic burglary in June 2018. In early 2019 he was told by police that no further action would be taken against him. However, he was subsequently charged. Last week – over two years since the alleged offence – he appeared at Inner London Crown Court.’

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BBC News, 17th September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Commercial chambers offers £20k to fund withdrawn pupillage at crime set – Legal Futures

Posted September 16th, 2020 in barristers, budgets, coronavirus, criminal justice, government departments, news, pupillage by michael

‘A London commercial chambers has put up £20,000 to fund a pupillage that a criminal set has had to withdraw because of the impact of Covid-19.’

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Legal Futures, 16th September 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

More deferred sentences in shake-up of criminal justice in England and Wales – The Guardian

‘Ministers are to encourage courts to make more use of deferred sentences – when judges give offenders a chance to turn themselves around before being punished – as part of a £500m shake-up of criminal justice in England and Wales.’

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The Guardian, 16th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

A Smarter Approach to Sentencing – Ministry of Justice

‘This White Paper sets out the government’s proposals for important changes to the sentencing and release framework in England and Wales.’

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Ministry of Justice, 16th September 2020

Source: www.gov.uk

Crossbows: What are the UK’s laws on weapons after man shot in London? – The Independent

‘The shooting of a man with a crossbow in London has sparked fresh questions over the lack of restrictions on such weapons in the UK.’

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The Independent, 15th September 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Serious criminals to serve two-thirds of jail term in justice shake-up – BBC News

‘Sexual and violent offenders will serve at least two-thirds of jail terms, rather than half, as part of changes to the criminal justice system in England and Wales.’

 

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BBC News, 16th September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Drivers who kill others could receive life sentences under new laws – BBC News

‘Drivers who kill others after speeding, racing or using a phone could receive life sentences under new legislation.’

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BBC News, 14th September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk