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Wednesday, 17 May 2023 11:47

New Public Order Laws

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Current legislation to manage protests provides predominantly for powers to counter behaviours at protests which are violent or distressing to the public. These powers include those under the Public Order Act 1986 (the “1986 Act”) which provides the police with powers to manage public processions and assemblies, including protests.  Sections 12 and 14 of the 1986 Act (as amended by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022) allow the police to impose any type of condition on a public procession or public assembly necessary to prevent: significant impact on persons or serious disruption to the activities of an organisation…
Tuesday, 16 May 2023 11:30

Female Offender Strategy

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The government has set out proposals to reduce women’s offending over the period of the 2022–25. This Delivery Plan sets out how Government will deliver four key priorities to reduce women’s offending over the next three years. These are: Fewer women entering the justice system and reoffending Fewer women serving short custodial sentences with a greater proportion managed successfully in the community Better outcomes for women in custody Protecting the public through better outcomes for women on release
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A blood test to measure whether a driver who has caused an accident was impaired by lack of sleep could be available within two years, making it easier to legislate against drowsy drivers or their employers.
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Updated sentencing guidelines for animal cruelty offences that reflect changes introduced by the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021, were published today by the Sentencing Council following consultation. For the first time, a new ‘Animal cruelty’ guideline gives judges and magistrates in England and Wales guidance for sentencing the most serious animal cruelty offences, including causing unnecessary suffering, tail docking and animal fighting. The Council developed the guideline after the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 increased the maximum penalty for these offences from six months to five years’ custody. A second guideline also published today, ‘Failure to ensure animal welfare’, revises…
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An offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation was created by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and came in to force on 7 June 2022. CPS guidance on this offence states: "Some dictionary definitions of the word "strangle" link the word to an intention to kill or the causing of death. The statute however does not require an intention to kill nor any link to death. Although not a criminal case, in Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17, the UK Supreme Court considered the ordinary meaning of "strangle" in the context of a Facebook post, in which the applicant in the…
Friday, 16 December 2022 12:29

Prison fails to release

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Niagui v Governor of HMP Wandsworth [2022] EWHC 2911 (Admin)
Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:21

New strangulation and suffocation laws

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Prosecutors now have new powers to charge specific offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, as key measures in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 come into force.
Wednesday, 09 February 2022 13:58

Duty of care for pornography sites

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Adults will have to hand over credit card or passport details before they can access social media sites, the British government threatened this morning. Internet use age verification – first floated and then abandoned via the country's 2017 Digital Economy Act – will return in the UK's Online Safety Bill, digital minister Chris Philp MP has vowed, linking the technology, widely criticised by privacy activists, to protecting children from pornography websites.
Wednesday, 09 February 2022 13:47

Court delays

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Ministers insist they are making good progress in tackling the courts backlog despite coming under heavy criticism from opposition MPs over delays in the justice system. Justice minister James Cartlidge told the Commons on Tuesday that cases in the magistrates’ court were close to reaching pre-pandemic levels while the Crown court backlog has fallen from 61,000 cases in June 2021 to 58,700 cases in November 2021. ‘I can confirm that in the next financial year, we expect to get through 20% more Crown court cases than we did in the year previous to Covid,’ he added.
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 12:38

GBH aquittal secured

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Thank you to James Caldwell of 2 Harcourt Buildings for securing the acquittal of our client in relation to charges of GBH further to a re-trial.  The allegations related to a series of assaults which were alleged to have taken place over a period of time.  Our client denied the charges and thanks to Lee Bottomley of Leyson Data, Forensic Experts in digital data, evidence was produced from a mobile phone in support of our client who was ultimately found not guilty of all charges.
Wednesday, 02 February 2022 12:10

Pregnancy in prison

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In the past three years, two babies born inside English prisons have died. In September 2019, a woman, now known as Ms A, gave birth alone in her cell at HMP Bronzefield and the baby died. In July 2020, a baby was stillborn at HMP Styal. Prison will never be a safe place for pregnant women, so why are our courts still sending them there?
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 15:21

Greater powers a good idea?

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Magistrates will be able to lock up people for longer under powers being granted by the government to cut the Crown court backlog. Lord chancellor Dominic Raab announced today that he will double the maximum prison sentence – currently six months - that magistrates can hand down. Magistrates will also increasingly be allowed to sentence serious cases such as fraud, theft and assault. Currently, any crime that warrants a prison sentence of more than six months must be sent to the Crown court for a judge to determine the appropriate sentence.
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 15:14

Increase in magistrates powers

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The chair of the Magistrates’ Association has criticised what she described as 'unwarranted hostility' towards magistrates following the news that their sentencing powers will be increased to help cut the Crown court backlog.    
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 15:07

Drill music review

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The Telegraph reports  that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to review its guidance on “drill” music amid claims from academics that it can stop young black men from getting a fair trial. The CPS is conducting what it describes as a “listening exercise” with academics, barristers, civil liberty campaigners and youth groups who fear the use of drill music in trials can unfairly stereotype young black defendants as being involved in violence.
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