News

Grime in Crime

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The field of law has long been recognised as one of the oldest professions. The fountain pen for many heralded a new era in a domain often associated with the ink well and pink ribbon briefs. However, with the advent and increasing evolution of technology and digital working, the profession, particularly the field of criminal law, has been moved, albeit somewhat unwillingly, into the 21st Century. Most technically-savvy and dare I say, progressive, firms are moving towards total digital working practices. Indeed the courts and Crown Prosecution Service are now fully digital albeit not without their own different attendant problems. In line with this has been the development in relation...

** THIS VACANCY HAS NOW CLOSED **Vacancy - Social Media Manager

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Role: Social Media Manager. Full time, Monday to Friday 35 hours (ex-lunch). 4 weeks holiday plus statutory entitlements.

Location: Bolton (please note that there is no possibility of remote working)

Remuneration: Basic £25,000 plus pension, realistic tiered bonus structure based on sales targets, £37,000 OTE.

Crime Social is a new social media service for our discerning customer base who require high-quality legal material to promote their own businesses online.

You will be responsible for managing the project from the outset, writing high-level legal copy for our legal customers and acting as first point client contact. A legal qualification is not necessarily a requirement for this...

Developments in sanctions enforcement

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Solicitor Anna Rothwell (Corker Binning) write about new reporting rules.

Solicitors and other professionals may be somewhat alarmed to learn that as of 8 August 2017 the European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017 came into force, extending a reporting requirement that previously only applied to financial institutions to ‘independent legal professionals’, as well as to accountants, auditors, tax advisors, estate agents and others such as casinos and dealers in rare stones. If legal professionals and other relevant businesses fail to report a known or suspected financial sanctions breach to HM Treasury's Office of Financial Sanctions...

** THIS VACANCY HAS NOW BEEN FILLED ** 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. You will work across the titles that make up CrimeLine Complete – our online knowledge platform. You are also likely to work on our new sentencing project.

Position Type: 1 year fixed term contract commencing September 2017 (or soon thereafter). Monday – Friday, 35 hours per week. We are looking for a LPC/BPTC graduate who is searching for a Training Contract or Pupillage (in the past we have been able to assist other holders of this position into the legal profession).

Place: Bolton.

Salary: £21,000 plus workplace pension contribution.

Role

Primary tasks:...

Speech delivered by the Lord Chancellor at a HM Judges’ dinner at Mansion House

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And it’s with great pleasure that I speak to you tonight as Lord Chancellor. With great pleasure, but I confess also with a measure of trepidation. I looked through the catalogue of my illustrious predecessors and at first I was assured in realising that no fewer than three previous Lord Chancellors had subsequently been canonised as saints, though my enthusiasm was somewhat tempered by finding out that two of them had had to suffer martyrdom before they achieved that status.

While another Lord Chancellor, Archbishop Sudbury, had suffered the fate of being lynched and beheaded by a mob on Tower Hill which puts even Twitter in a certain context today.

If we think back, Lord Mayor, to the...

Professional Court User WiFi – a success?

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But, if digital case files were to become the working reality, this digital backbone was essential and needed to be put into place fast.

Rollout was faster than many people expected, hampered only by legacy issues surrounding some older parts of the court estate (some of which were listed buildings), and more modern court centres financed under PFIs.

But the reality is that the project was indeed completed and 240 sites now allow criminal justice professionals in both magistrates’ and crown court to access, free of charge, the case papers that they need.

In April 2017 over 216,000 devices made a connection with the PCU WiFi system, delivering connections for any of the 19,000 users who...

Post Sentence Supervision – Breach and Billing

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The issue arises due to clause 10.70 (Crime Contract 2017), which provides:

For the purposes of the definition of a series of offences, a breach of a community penalty or other court order must be treated as an offence. If the defendant is before the court for other reasons, then no separate Standard Fee payment will be made for breach proceedings in respect of a community penalty or other court order, irrespective of whether there is any link between such breach proceedings and any other proceedings being heard at the same time. If breach proceedings are heard alone then they will attract a separate Standard Fee.

Is breach of PSS a breach of a ‘community penalty’ or ‘other court...

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...