Crown court backlog has reached ‘crisis levels’, report warns – The Guardian

‘The backlog of crown court cases in England and Wales has reached “crisis levels”, with the increased remand population likely to disproportionately impact children and young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, a parliamentary committee has warned.’

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The Guardian, 30th March 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Suspended sentence for woman who live streamed video of boyfriend’s trial – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A woman who live streamed her partner’s Crown court trial on Facebook after videoing from the public gallery has received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 18th February 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Drafting an information for breach of an enforcement notice: Ceredigion CC v Robinson & others – 5SAH

‘An allegation of an offence in an information or charge must describe the offence in ordinary language and make it clear what the prosecutor alleges. Amendments to section 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) mean that it is no longer necessary, when prosecuting a defendant for non-compliance with an enforcement notice, to aver within the information the date upon which the period of compliance expired. The court held that the exact moment at which the compliance period expired was no longer of critical or defining importance. It is a necessary inference within an information that the date upon which the offence is said to have been committed, occurred after the period of compliance had expired. The prosecutor would still need to prove as a fact that the date for compliance had expired, but this fact was not essential to enable the defendant to understand what the prosecutor was alleging.’

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5SAH, 16th February 2021

Source: www.5sah.co.uk

Law Society calls for two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and Magistrates court work – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Law Society has called for urgent action including a possible two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and magistrates’ court work “amid escalating safety concerns”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th January 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Criminal barristers ‘will take action’ over Covid operating hours – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The criminal bar has accused the government of breaching the Equality Act 2010 by proposing to roll out extended operating hours in Crown courts without “proper assessment”’.

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Law Society's Gazette, 1st December 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Criminal justice system is ‘on its knees’, says top English lawyer – The Guardian

‘Crown court cases are being delayed until 2023, the innocent penalised more than the guilty, and the under-funded, criminal justice system brought “on its knees”, according to the chair of the Criminal Bar Association in England and Wales.’

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The Guardian, 19th November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Barristers aim to end “shocking” lack of diversity on Western Circuit – Legal Futures

Posted November 20th, 2020 in barristers, Crown Court, diversity, equality, judiciary, news, statistics by sally

‘A group of barristers has launched a bid to end what they describe as a “shocking” lack of diversity on the Western Circuit, where none of the full-time circuit judges are from Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.’

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Legal Futures, 20th November 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Virus backlogs must not become “new normal”, says Lord Chief – Legal Futures

‘The Lord Chief Justice told MPs yesterday that he is “extremely concerned” that the backlogs that have grown across the justice system since March should not be “viewed by anybody as the new normal”.’

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Legal Futures, 11th November 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Administrative Court allows appeal by tenant on extending time for service of notice of appeal in ASB case – Local Government Lawyer

‘A Plymouth woman has successfully appealed over a closure order imposed on her home after complaints of anti-social behaviour.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 5th November 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Extending custody time limit will hit BAME people hardest, MoJ told – The Guardian

‘Extending the amount of time unconvicted defendants can await trial in prison will have a disproportionate impact on people who are black, Asian or from other ethnic minorities, according to official advice handed to ministers.’

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The Guardian, 16th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Courtroom drama: Salford’s Lowry Theatre to become Nightingale court – The Guardian

Posted September 23rd, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, Crown Court, delay, Ministry of Justice, news, statistics, theatre, trials by sally

‘There are many barristers who like to imagine they could have succeeded on the stage, hamming it up in their wigs and gowns and addressing the jury like Laurence Olivier doing Richard III.’

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The Guardian, 23rd 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

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

Judge criticises UK government’s ‘inadequate’ efforts to aid Covid-19 backlog – The Guardian

‘A crown court judge has refused to extend the custody time limit for keeping a man in prison awaiting trial and accused the government of under-funding the criminal justice system during the pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 8th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Court of Appeal dismisses legal challenge over confiscation orders and costs of removing contaminated waste – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 28th, 2020 in appeals, confiscation, Crown Court, environmental health, news, notification, waste by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has rejected a case in which two men argued that a Crown Court judge miscalculated confiscation orders made following a prosecution by the Environment Agency.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th August 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

McKenzie v Leeds Crown Court – Exchange Chambers

Posted July 30th, 2020 in coronavirus, Crown Court, lists, news, time limits by sally

‘The Claimant was due to have his 4 day trial commence in Leeds Crown Court on 27th April 2020. On 23rd March the Lord Chief Justice pronounced that no new trials would commence until further notice. This was categorised during the claim as a “listing decision”; one that affected every single criminal case in the jurisdiction that was pending trial before the Crown Court. The application to extend the Claimant’s CTL was made the same day the decision was made on the recent pro-forma application which states that each application is “made due to the current public health crisis”. The application was heard on what would have been the first day of trial and in a written judgement of the Claimant’s CTL was extended. These applications have been made up and down the country on the same basis and so the claim was of wide public importance.’

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Exchange Chambers, 23rd July 2020

Source: www.exchangechambers.co.uk

MoJ favours ‘Nightingale’ crown courts to tackle huge backlog of cases – The Guardian

Posted July 2nd, 2020 in coronavirus, criminal justice, Crown Court, delay, Ministry of Justice, news by tracey

‘Plans for non-jury trials to speed up efforts to tackle a backlog of more than 40,000 crown court cases appear to have been sidelined as the Ministry of Justice opts instead for extended opening hours, emergency “Nightingale” courts and, possibly, smaller juries.’

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The Guardian, 2nd July 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Drop juries for less serious crimes in England and Wales, judges say – The Guardian

Posted June 17th, 2020 in coronavirus, criminal justice, Crown Court, delay, juries, news, trials by sally

‘Less serious crimes should be tried in crown courts before a judge without a jury in order to tackle the thousands of cases building up during the pandemic crisis, judges have suggested.’

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The Guardian, 16th June 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Overseas Production Orders – A New Tool to Obtain Foreign Electronic Evidence – 6KBW College Hill

Posted June 5th, 2020 in Crown Court, data protection, evidence, foreign jurisdictions, news by sally

‘For years, prosecutors and defenders have acted in the confident knowledge that obtaining certain types of important electronic evidence from overseas in time for use at trial has been very difficult. That may now change: the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 (“the Act”) received the Royal Assent on 12 February 2019. The provisions of the Act came into force on 9 October 2019.’

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6KBW College Hill, 25th May 2020

Source: blog.6kbw.com

Jury trials to resume in England and Wales with physical distancing – The Guardian

Posted May 12th, 2020 in coronavirus, Crown Court, juries, news by sally

‘Jury trials will resume under physical distancing restrictions in a limited number of crown courts in England and Wales from 18 May, the lord chief justice has announced.’

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The Guardian, 11th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com