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Blood on our hands –  part 2 “Blood on our hands” Employment tribunal fees Prison reform Deport first, appeal later New Lord Chancellor
 
Blood on our hands –  part 2

Blood on our hands – part 2

Sir Justice James Munby, who sits as president of the High Court’s family division, in his judgment of 3 August said he felt “ashamed and embarrassed” that no hospital place had been found that could take proper care of an unnamed 17-year-old known as X when she was due to be released from youth custody […]

Blood on our hands –  part 2
“Blood on our hands”

“Blood on our hands”

The nation will have “blood on its hands” if an NHS hospital bed cannot be found within days for a teenage girl, known only as X, who is at acute risk of taking her own life, according to the UK’s most senior family judge. Sir Justice James Munby, who sits as president of the High […]

“Blood on our hands”
Employment tribunal fees

Employment tribunal fees

It is some time since Chris Grayling left the post of lord chancellor but his influence continues to be felt as his poor judgments have to be reversed. Now we have another embarrassing example. In a landmark decision handed down last Wednesday, the Supreme Court, in the case of R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor (2017), […]

Employment tribunal fees
Prison reform

Prison reform

Prison reform was a key element of the Prisons and Courts Bill, abandoned in the run up to the general election. And it was not reinstated in the threadbare Queen’s Speech. In his first public statement since taking up the post of justice secretary, David Lidington has sought to reassure that this apparent dropping of […]

Prison reform
Deport first, appeal later

Deport first, appeal later

This week the Supreme Court ruled that the government’s system for deporting foreign criminals before they have had a chance to appeal breaches their human rights. In a landmark case concerning two foreign national criminals, the court ruled that having to appeal from abroad denied the men an effective appeal. ‘Deport first, appeal later’ was […]

Deport first, appeal later
New Lord Chancellor

New Lord Chancellor

In the past two years we have been privileged to serve four holders of the post of Lord Chancellor – Chris Grayling, Michael Gove, Lyn Truss and now, David Lidington. All four have one thing in common. None is legally qualified. The demotion of Lyn Truss to Chief Secretary to the Treasury stands out as […]

New Lord Chancellor
The launch of the Great Repeal Bill

The launch of the Great Repeal Bill

31 March 2017

In her letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, triggering Article 50, the Prime Minister said that the Government “would bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament – the European Communities Act 1972 – that gives effect to EU law in our country. We also intend to bring forward several […]

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Extended court sittings

Extended court sittings

29 March 2017

A new pilot scheme from HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will introduce extra sittings at civil, crown, and magistrates’ courts to increase the number of cases seen each day. The pilots are expected to begin in May, in six courts over six months. The six pilot courts are: Newcastle and Blackfriars Crown court; Sheffield […]

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Lord Chief Justice attacks the Lord Chancellor

Lord Chief Justice attacks the Lord Chancellor

24 March 2017

Giving evidence to the House of Lords’ Constitution Committee this week, the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, launched a forthright attack on the justice secretary, Liz Truss, for her failure last year to defend judges who were branded “enemies of the people.” Referring to the article 50 Brexit court case, he told the […]

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Enabling tax avoidance

Enabling tax avoidance

14 March 2017

According to the ‘Gazette’, solicitors, with the exception of those in-house, are among the main losers from last week’s spring budget. A combination of higher national insurance contributions and increased taxes on dividends will hit self-employed practitioners, partners and director shareholders. In addition, accountants, lawyers, tax planners and advisers who provide advice on how to […]

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Prisons and Courts Bill

Prisons and Courts Bill

01 March 2017

“Prison is about punishing people who have committed heinous crimes, but it should be a place where offenders are given the opportunity to turn their lives around,” said the justice secretary, Liz Truss, introducing the Prisons and Courts bill last Thursday. “I want our prisons to be places of discipline, hard work, and self-improvement, where staff […]

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Sentencing and the prison population

Sentencing and the prison population

20 February 2017

Justice secretary Liz Truss set out her views on sentencing and the prison population in an address to the Centre for Social Justice last week. She believes that “We should be proud that we live in a society that no longer shames victims of rape; that is prepared to confront child sex abuse, and has […]

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Reforming the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme

Reforming the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme

16 February 2017

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has issued a consultation paper which sets out proposals for the reform of the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS). This scheme pays advocates to defend clients in the Crown Court. The current AGFS scheme was last subject to major change in 2007. In his introduction to the consultation, Sir Oliver […]

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Driving Consultation

Driving Consultation

06 February 2017

The Ministry of Justice’s consultation on whether to increase the current maximum custodial sentences available for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs closed this week. In the foreword to the consultation last December, justice minister Sam Gyimah said: “While the UK has one […]

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The Supreme Court has ruled

The Supreme Court has ruled

24 January 2017

Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled. The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing, although this is expected to happen in time for the government’s 31 March deadline. Reading out the judgement, Supreme Court […]

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LASPO Review

LASPO Review

20 January 2017

At last the Ministry of Justice has announced that the government has set the ball rolling on the long-awaited review of its controversial legal aid reforms. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), which came into force in April 2013, made savage cuts to the scope of legal aid. Civil legal […]

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