Posted on 05 December 2012.
From Monday a range of new criminal offences and sentences introduced in LASPO came into effect.
The new offences include a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent offence, aggravated knife possession, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, measures to strengthen community sentences and tough new sentences for hate crime. Justice secretary Chris Grayling said: “Criminals should be in no doubt they will be punished for their crimes, with those who commit the most serious offences receiving the most severe sentences.” Read the full story
Posted in Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 16 March 2012.
The government’s controversial legal aid bill has suffered its ninth defeat in the House of Lords. The bill has now suffered more defeats in the Lords than either the health or welfare reform bills.
On Monday, the third day of Report, the government seemed to have hit on a strategy to reduce potential defeats by the simple expedient of not starting the debate until after six o’clock, a ploy bitterly objected to by the opponents. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 17 February 2012.
The ninth day of line-by-line consideration of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment bill at Committee stage in the House of Lords last week, which was midwife to the birth of Jane’s Law, might also lead to Clare’s Law.
Baroness Gale moved an amendment to the bill which would insert a new clause providing for ‘disclosure of information about convictions etc. of violent abusers to members of the public’. As with Jane’s Law, the amendment results from shocking events. Read the full story
Posted in Case Law, Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice
Posted on 17 February 2012.
There was rare consensus between the government and the opposition at the start of the ninth day of line-by-line consideration of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment bill at Committee stage in the House of Lords last week.
The occasion was an amendment to the bill, proposed by Lord Beecham, to insert a clause allowing the ‘right to appeal bail decisions’. The government had also put down a similar amendment. Lord Beecham said: “This amendment and the government amendment arise from the brutal murder of Jane Clough, a 26 year- old nurse and mother of a baby daughter, by the partner with whom Read the full story
Posted in Case Law, Criminal Justice, Legal IT
Posted on 26 January 2012.
Tuesday was the fifth day of the line-by-line scrutiny of the Legal Aid bill in the Lords and it produced the first positive result for the opponents of the bill. The government announced that one of the most controversial elements of the bill – the means testing of suspects held in police stations – has been abandoned.
Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald had just risen to propose an amendment to the much criticised clause 12 when, for the government, Lord McNally intervened. He said: “My Lords, if I may interrupt, this may ruin a few speeches but I think it will help if I say that Read the full story
Posted in Criminal Justice, Law Updates
Posted on 18 January 2012.
The Lords continued their examination of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill on Monday, starting with Clause 8, which makes provisions about when civil legal services would be made available.
Amendment 21 was moved by Lord Beecham. He said that the bill sought to make legal aid provision a matter of exception rather than of course. Instead of listing only matters that would be eligible for legal aid, they exclude everything except Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Law Updates
Posted on 24 November 2011.
On Monday the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill came before the Lords for its second reading. In eight hours there were over fifty contributors to a high quality debate.
Part 2 (litigation funding and costs) and part 3 (sentencing and punishment of offenders) did not feature greatly in the exchanges, and were largely approved. Overwhelmingly the debate concerned part 1 of the bill – legal aid. And overwhelmingly the contributors opposed the government’s proposals. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Legal Aid
Posted on 03 September 2010.
A Call for Evidence is a consultation paper containing proposals for change and new policies, which invites the public to comment within a given time period. The Ministry of Justice has recently announced two such consultations on European Commission initiatives. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties
Posted on 17 May 2010.
Party manifestos are really little more than wish lists. But the unprecedented Tory and Liberal coalition agreement, produced at breakneck speed, and to be followed in due course by a final and fully comprehensive agreement, is something else. It is little short of a Queen’s speech for a whole parliament. Section 10 of the agreement is about civil liberties. The preamble states: Read the full story
Posted in Civil Liberties, Law Updates