“New law” is neither new nor law… – Park Square Barristers

Posted September 4th, 2015 in magistrates, news, prosecutions, road traffic offences by sally

‘In recent weeks Leeds Magistrates Court has found itself in the grip of a media frenzy for the dubious honour of hearing the “first ever prosecution” under the “new Law”’ for so called “middle-lane hogging”.’

Full story

Park Square Barristers, 19th August 2015

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

Crippling court costs force poverty-stricken people to ‘plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit’ – The Independent

‘Poverty-stricken people are being encouraged to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit out of fear they will face crippling costs imposed by new financial penalties, leading lawyers, magistrates and campaigners have warned.’

Full story

The Independent, 21st August 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Defendants ‘venue shop’ for more lenient sentence – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 20th, 2015 in consultations, defence, magistrates, news, sentencing by sally

‘Magistrates should be trained to apply sentencing guidelines correctly to stop defendants ‘venue shopping’ for a more lenient sentence, the Law Society has said.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 18th August 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Woman fined nearly £300 for stealing three bottles of baby milk – The Independent

Posted August 19th, 2015 in charities, community service, fines, magistrates, news, sentencing, theft by sally

‘A woman has been fined nearly £300 for stealing three bottles of baby milk at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court this week.’

Full story

The Independent, 18th August 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Criminal court charges ‘trapping’ penniless suspects – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A charity today called for an urgent review of criminal courts charges after collating cases which it says prove the fees are ‘unrealistic and unfair’.’
Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 5th August 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Mothers Confined – Part 2: Time for action – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

It is plain that across the board there is a desire for change in relation to women and criminal justice. Many examples exists of wonderful, creative, worthwhile and even evidently successful projects in relation to diverting women away from custody and improving conditions for women who lose their liberty. Research related to women and criminal justice is ongoing from a range of respected and vociferous advocates such as Women’s Breakout, The Prison Reform Trust, Women in Prison and Halsbury’s Law Exchange to name but a few – many working together to effect change. There is no doubt that evidence and recommendations from each of these respected bodies – and more alongside them – will call for real change, offering genuine educated and reasonable arguments for doing so. However arguably (at least for now), the real “power” lies with the Courts, ergo it is the Courts who need to be at the vanguard of change.

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 3rd August 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

Magistrates resign over court charges that encourage innocent to plead guilty – The Guardian

Posted August 3rd, 2015 in benefits, courts, criminal justice, guilty pleas, magistrates, news, penalties by sally

‘Magistrates have begun to resign in protest at punitive court charges of up to £1,200 that they claim can never be collected and encourage the innocent to plead guilty.’
Full story

The Guardian, 31st July 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Criminal trials could take place in town halls to save money, says Michael Gove -Daily Telegraph

Posted July 16th, 2015 in courts, criminal procedure, electronic monitoring, magistrates, news, trials by tracey

‘Magistrates’ courts could meet in town halls or even hotel suites in a bid to save money, the Justice Secretary has said. Michael Gove confirmed there will be a new programme of court closures but the minister stressed he was keen to retain the way justice is dispensed at a local level.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 15th July 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Consultation on proposed amendments to allocation guideline – Sentencing Council

Posted June 19th, 2015 in Crown Court, magistrates, press releases, trials by tracey

‘The Sentencing Council has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to the allocation guideline.’

Full press release

Sentencing Council, 19th June 2015

Source: http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk

Unlimited fines for serious offences – Ministry of Justice

Posted March 13th, 2015 in fines, magistrates, news by sally

‘A new law has come into force today (12 March 2015) which removes the £5,000 cap that used to limit the maximum fines magistrates could impose.’

Full story

Ministry of Justice,

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

A Day in the Life of a Magistrate – BBC Law in Action

Posted March 3rd, 2015 in codes of practice, internet, judiciary, magistrates, news, police by sally

‘As magistrate numbers continue to fall Joshua Rozenberg goes to Bradford to meet one of 300 who sit on the bench there. Would the system of lay magistrates – with no legal qualifications – be invented today? The answer is an intriguing one.’


BBC Law in Action, 24th February 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Magistrates’ leader hits back at ‘blue rinse’ stereotype – The Independent

Posted November 10th, 2014 in imprisonment, magistrates, news, sentencing by sally

‘The lay judiciary is fed up of being used as a “punch bag” by ill-informed politicians who have an outdated view of magistrates as “blue-rinse” establishment figures who like sending people to prison.’

Full story

The Independent, 9th November 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Regina (B and others) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court and others – WLR Daily

Posted November 7th, 2014 in closed material, disclosure, evidence, extradition, law reports, magistrates by tracey

Regina (B and others) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court and others: [2014] UKSC 59; [2014] WLR (D) 470

‘A judge hearing extradition proceedings in the magistrates’ court had no power under the Extradition Act 2003 to hear evidence in a closed court and to make an order prohibiting the disclosure to the government of the requesting state of evidence adduced by individuals whose extradition was being sought. Extradition proceedings were not in a special category which would justify a departure from the principle of open justice.’

WLR Daily, 5th November 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

Phasing in new legislation – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The major piece of criminal law legislation for 2014 is the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. It has been brought gradually into force throughout the year.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 3rd November 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Pop-up courts for speeding fine cases – Daily Telegraph

Posted October 27th, 2014 in courts, criminal justice, fines, magistrates, news, road traffic offences by sally

‘Ministers are considering introducing “pop up” courts for people who challenge speeding fines to be held in their own communities.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 25th October 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Fraud, bribery and money laundering offences guideline comes into effect – Sentencing Council

Posted October 2nd, 2014 in bribery, Crown Court, fraud, magistrates, money laundering, news, sentencing by tracey

‘Following a period of training and implementation the definitive guideline on fraud, bribery and money laundering offences came into effect on 1 October 2014.’

Versions for the Crown Court and magistrates’ courts

Sentencing Council, 1st October 2014

Source: http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk

Magistrate sings in protest at being forced to retire – Daily Telegraph

Posted August 11th, 2014 in age discrimination, elderly, magistrates, news, retirement by sally

‘Karen Henshaw stood up in court and broke into song about being forced to step down from her duties at the age of 70.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 8th August 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Criminals jailed by magistrates to pay victim surcharge – BBC News

Posted August 8th, 2014 in imprisonment, magistrates, news, restorative justice, sentencing, victims by sally

‘Criminals jailed by magistrates’ courts in England and Wales will no longer be excused from victim surcharge payments by serving extra prison time.’

Full story

BBC News, 8th August 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Unfit To Plead in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts? – Criminal Law and Justice Weekly

Posted June 11th, 2014 in fitness to plead, magistrates, news, youth courts by sally

‘Miranda Bevan on the Law Commission’s review of the law on unfitness to plead in England and Wales.’

Full story

Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, 6th June 2014

Source: www.criminallawandjustice.co.uk

Why are special courts that can help drug users at risk of being scrapped? – The Guardian

Posted June 10th, 2014 in courts, crime, drug abuse, magistrates, news by sally

‘Launched as a pilot programme a decade ago, dedicated drug courts were widely promoted as one of the best hopes of halting addiction-fuelled crime. According to supporters, however, specialist courts are now in danger of being disbanded through lack of official support. The West London drugs court, in Hammersmith, sits only half a day a week and is no longer staffed exclusively by specially trained magistrates.’

Full story

The Guardian, 10th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk