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Jane’s Law

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 ITComments (0)

Libel law reforms

On Tuesday the government unveiled sweeping changes to the libel laws aimed at protecting freedom of speech and bringing an end to so-called ‘libel tourism’ from abroad. The declared aim is to bring libel law up to date, striking a balance between protecting people’s right to free speech – including Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Civil LawComments (0)

Clampdown on claims marketing

“Today accident victims are given the impression that they may be entitled to handsome rewards just for making a claim regardless of any personal responsibility – adding to a real sense that we live in an increasingly litigious society…Britain’s ‘compensation culture’ is fuelled by media stories about Read the full story

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Stop and Search

Black people are 26 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by police in England and Wales. The figures relate to stop and searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which was introduced to deal with football hooligans and the threat of serious violence. It allows police to search anyone in a designated area without specific grounds for suspicion. Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption, as a subject, is much in the air at the moment with the current focus on betting scams in cricket and other sports. So it is perhaps appropriate that legislation is set for a radical change when the Bribery Act 2010, which received Royal Assent in April as one of the last pieces of business by the previous government, comes into force on 1 October. Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

U-turn on rape charge anonymity?

One of the more surprising pledges in the Coalition programme for government was to extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants. Such a move would turn the clock back to 1976, when the Sexual Offences Act introduced anonymity for those accused of rape. That provision was repealed in 1988. Shortly after Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Rules on stop and search changed

Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament yesterday that the government will change how stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act are used, with immediate effect.

The move is in response to a decision by the Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Proposed closure of 157 courts

The Ministry of Justice have announced plans to close 157 magistrates and county courts in England and Wales, at a saving of £36.8m.

In a written statement to the Commons on 23 June, Secretary of State Kenneth Clarke said that Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) currently operates out of 530 courts, some of which Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Anonymity for rape trial defendents

One of the more surprising pledges in the Coalition programme for government was: “We will extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants.” This move would turn the clock back to 1976, when the Sexual Offences Act introduced anonymity for those accused of rape. The provision was later repealed. Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Judges reject use of secret evidence in civil trials

“The importance of civil trials being fair, the procedures of the court being simple, and the rules of court being clear are all of cardinal importance. It would, in our view, be wrong for judges to introduce into ordinary civil trials a procedure which…cuts across absolutely fundamental principles (the right to a fair trial and the right to know the reasons for the outcome), initially hard fought for and now well established Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Civil Liberties, Law UpdatesComments (0)

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