News

CrimeLine - New Vacancy

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CrimeLine is one of the leading providers of current awareness to criminal lawyers, servicing a client base across the UK and abroad. CrimeLine Criminal Practice is one of the key components of CrimeLine Complete – our online knowledge platform.

Position Type: Permanent. Monday – Friday, 35 hours per week.

Place: Bolton. Based at our modern offices in Bolton town centre. Bolton is just 20 minutes from the city delights of Manchester and within easy reach of the Lake District and Peak District. With excellent communication links (London 2 hours), schools and realistically priced housing, this is an opportunity to work in the Northern Powerhouse and keep a valuable work/life...

Knife possession sentencing

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This bulletin presents key statistics describing the trends in the number of offenders receiving cautions and convictions, and in the prison population for possession of knife offences in England and Wales. This bulletin does not cover all knife crimes (offences involving a knife) as published by the Office for National Statistics.

The information presented combines all three types of knife and weapon possession offences; possession offences of having an article with a blade or point in a public place or on school premises; possession of offensive weapon without lawful authority or reasonable excuse in a public place or on school premises and offences of aggravated possession of a knife...

Bar ethics chiefs issue advice and warning to criminal bar

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Barristers who were not trial counsel but who are instructed to represent convicted defendants in the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal have been given new guidance by the Bar Council’s Ethics Committee on their duty to check the factual basis for the appeal or risk criticism and action by the court.

The committee, which supports barristers in England & Wales on ethical issues, is urging the criminal Bar to take note of this latest advice, which relates to any case in which a new barrister is instructed in connection with a criminal appeal.

In the note, barristers are advised that they must:

a) Make inquiries of the legal representative(s) who appeared and acted at the trial in...

CPS prosecuting and convicting more cases of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse than ever before

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The CPS's annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows that rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for 18.6 per cent of the CPS's total caseload and this figure has been increasing year-on-year. In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted 117,568 defendants for all crimes grouped together as Violence against Women and Girls (VaWG).

More than 100,000 defendants were prosecuted for domestic abuse, with over 75,000 convicted - the highest volumes ever recorded, also reaching the highest ever conviction rate of 75.4 per cent by March 2016. In December 2015, the new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour also came into law, and our statistics show there were five prosecutions...

Criminal Procedure Rule Committee - vacancy for a solicitor member

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Following the retirement of Michael Caplan QC there is a vacancy for a solicitor member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee, now advertised at: https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/one-solicitor-criminal-procedure-rule-committee/. The appointment is made by the Lord Chancellor after consulting the Lord Chief Justice. The closing date for applications is 30th September, 2016.

I should be very grateful if those to whom I have sent this message, listed beneath, would draw others’ attention to the vacancy and encourage colleagues to apply whom you think meet the appointment criteria. Please feel free to forward this email to others if you wish. If applicable,...

Mayor launches £1.3m restorative justice service

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Londoners who have been affected by crime will have the chance to meet their offender if they wish, in an approach which has already proved successful in helping victims to recover from their ordeal*and also reduced reoffending rates.

The first ever Pan-London Restorative Justice programme is the UK’s single biggest restorative justice commission and will offer access at every stage of the criminal justice system. The approach holds offenders to account for what they have done, helping them understand the impact of their crime and make amends to their victims.

The move follows a poll conducted by Ipsos MORI during March/April 2015 which found that 46 per cent of victims would want to...

Internet giants "consciously failing" to tackle extremism on the web

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The Home Affairs Committee says that social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are "consciously failing" to combat the use of their sites to promote terrorism and killings, in its report published following an inquiry that has lasted 12 months, and included visits to Glasgow, Bradford and Europol. The Committee says these networks have become "the vehicle of choice in spreading propaganda and the recruiting platforms for terrorism".

Read the report

Government calls for greater collaboration between police forces to drive down costs

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New data on police procurement highlights the need for police forces to push opportunities to collaborate in order to deliver greater value for money for the taxpayer.

Since 2010/11 forces have saved in excess of £290m through better procurement and collaboration, but new information released today shows that that there are still many areas where forces could work together to identify savings.

The release is part of the Government’s transparency agenda to make the police more accountable to the public, and provide information on the prices paid by police for 18 essential items including forensic, telephony and office supplies. Forces are also asked to report on the extent to which they...

Tough new sanctions announced for offshore tax evaders

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The proposals will mean that those who do not come forward and pay outstanding taxes from offshore investments and accounts, could face even tougher penalties of up to three times the tax they try to evade, and increase their risk of potential criminal charges.

HMRC will be even better able to target evaders from October 2016, when it starts to receive an unprecedented amount of data on those with offshore accounts in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories – one year ahead of even more data coming in from across the globe, when the Common Reporting Standard comes into force.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison, said:

Every penny of tax that people evade...

Jail for Sussex waste boss who illegally stockpiled over 1,200 tonnes of wood

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Mr Tom McCabe, aged 32, of Sea Lane in Worthing, West Sussex appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday 22 August and pleaded guilty to the offence. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.

The Court heard that in January 2012, Mr McCabe set up a waste company, Matrix Bio Logistics, specialising in the storage and processing of waste wood with his partner, Miss Kim Box, after leasing land at the Squires Industrial Estate, Easons Green, Uckfield in East Sussex. The Environment Agency granted Mr McCabe a permit exemption for this activity but imposed strict conditions, including a limit of 500 tonnes of wood waste to be on the site in any seven day...

Busy Year for Attorney General

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New statistics released today have shown that the Attorney General’s office (AGO) received 713 requests for sentences to be reviewed under the ULS scheme in 2015. Of those, 136 were referred by the AGO to the Court of Appeal as potentially unduly lenient, with the Court agreeing to increase the original sentence for 102 offenders.

Of the 102 offenders who had their sentences increased, these related to crimes in the following categories:

  • Sexual offences (38)
  • Robbery (15)
  • Firearms offences (13)
  • Murder or manslaughter (7)
  • Grievous bodily harm (7)
  • Burglary (7)
  • Drug offences (6)
  • Causing death by dangerous driving (2)
  • Arson (1)
  • Other offences (6)

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP...

Operation Platon - DNA Miscarriage of Justice Investigation

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This reports sets out the results of a review of the potential for DNA analysis to affect the safety of convictions in criminal cases where convictions took place prior to 31st December 1990. It was undertaken on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in response to the Commissioners of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) raising with the Director the potential for the safety of convictions to be called into question following the uncontested appeal of Sean Hodgson against a conviction for murder. In the Hodgson case, DNA profiling has shown that he was not the person whose DNA was found on a vaginal swab taken from the victim.

Read the report

Treasury Select Committee criticises the way the FCA treats whistleblowers

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The Treasury Select Committee (TSC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been exchanging letters about the FCA’s treatment of whistleblowers in general, and the SME Alliance, in particular. Like the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards before it, the TSC seems less than impressed by what it’s found.

The TSC has just published the final letter in the series, together with an extract of the evidence given by the FCA’s new CEO to the TSC, and the TSC chair’s comments on the history and next steps.

The 2013 Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards found that the FCA “appeared to show little appreciation of the personal dilemmas that whistle-blowers may face”, needed...

The Serious Fraud Office and Legal Representation During Section 2 Interviews

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It is often assumed that an individual being interviewed by an investigative body, whether under caution or voluntarily, has a fundamental right to legal representation and advice. However, the publication of new guidelines by the Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") on the presence of lawyers and the conduct of interviews conducted pursuant to section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (the "New Guidelines") calls into question this assumption. This article will consider the New Guidelines which were issued following the case of Lord v the SFO[1].

Lord v the SFO – the facts

Whilst s.2 interviews have been a powerful tool deployed by the SFO since the late 1980s, their means as a way of...

Abuse Of Process In Historical Cases: A Thing Of The Past?

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In May this year the Public Accounts Committee published a report titled the ‘Efficiency in the Criminal Justice System.’ The conclusions are unsurprising for those with any experience of the system; it is at breaking point. In the current climate it seems the courts will do everything in their power to ensure cases proceed often in spite of significant delay. Due to their nature, historical cases can often be besieged with disclosure problems, and while delay can be due to legitimate and understandable reasons it is also true that historical cases can face unjustifiably delay. The question which must be asked is, when a case suffers from both delay and disclosure issues can a defendant...

Greek prisons held to violate Article 3 – An inconsistent approach?

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On 20 July 2016, Lord Justice Burnett and Mr Justice Mitting, handed down judgment in the conjoined appeal of Gjin Marku and John Murphy where the appellants successfully argued that their extradition to Greece would constitute a violation of both Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) and Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (“The Charter”). The decision is the first High Court ruling against Greece in relation to its ‘appalling record’ of deteriorating conditions of detention pertaining to its prisons.

In previous cases, most recently the case of Balaeiharis v Greece [2015] EWHC 3702 (Admin) - decided on 21 December 2015 - the...