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Blog

Excess….As Night Follows Day

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It’s funny how things change as the years pass by. Perhaps only ten years ago, if we were thinking about particular spikes in alleged criminal offending over the Christmas period,...
Section 174: Standard of proof On 29th November 2022, section 174 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into force, making a substantial legal change concerning the...
Public sexual harassment (‘PSH’) will be made a specific offence through government-backed legislation. It is believed that creating an offence would contribute to cultural change and send a clear message...

Delay & Alleged Historic Offending

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It is now commonplace for us to be asked to deal with cases where a person is accused of a crime, most commonly of a sexual nature, which is said...
It is an offence for a person, with the intention to: (a) of cause public alarm or anxiety, or (b) cause injury to members of the public consuming or using...

Joint Enterprise – Another wrong turn?

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In 2016 the Supreme Court held that the joint enterprise laws needed revisiting, holding that previous cases were wrongly decided: ‘The unanimous conclusion of the court is that Chan Wing-Siu...

Juror Bias?

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Any avid fan of American courtroom drama will be familiar with the idea of lawyers using ingenious methods to try and select a favourable jury panel. In England and Wales,...

What works in youth justice?

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For decades academics, policy makers, practitioners and other experts have deliberated on how best to create safer communities by preventing offending by children. For the past 20 years or more,...

New Public Order Laws

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A new public order bill is currently before parliament and may trigger a more authoritarian approach to protest rights. Introducing the bill, then Secretary of State for the Home Office...

Pre-charge Bail – Changes Coming Soon

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Changes to pre-charge bail arrangements and the current system of “release under investigation” are expected to come into force in late October 2022 when schedule 4 of the Police, Crime,...

Police Constables

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Given we are criminal defence lawyers we interact with police on a regular basis, but perhaps without thinking too much about the office of police constable and what it entails....

Highly Dangerous Weapons & Sentencing

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When sentencing for offences of assault, the use of a weapon will always be an aggravating feature. The sentencing guideline also refers explicitly to “highly dangerous weapons” and will be...

Age & Sentencing

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In a recent case (Spivey [2022] EWCA Crim 997) a Judge was faced with offenders who had just turned 18 years of age. When sentencing, he made the following observation:...
Custody time limits seek to regulate the maximum period that a person can be held in custody before their trial commencing. Broadly speaking, that period is one of six months....

Police Powers: Strip Searching

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As part of a standard stop and search, police officers can require those being searched to remove an outer coat, jacket, or gloves. Officers also have legal powers to require...

Confiscation and Proportionality

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Confiscation remains one of the most challenging areas of criminal law, confusing not only clients but also many lawyers with insufficient expertise in this area. In a recent case, the...

The Ryan Giggs Trial

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Former footballer Ryan Giggs is on trial for a number of offences including “using controlling and coercive behaviour”. We of course would never comment on an ongoing trial, but in...

New Hunting Offences

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Sections 63 and 64 of The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came in to force on 1st August 2022. It created two new offences of trespass with intent...

Call for More Diverse Juries

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The family of a 14-year-old boy who was chased through the streets, racially abused and stabbed to death are calling for new laws to improve diversity on juries, after his...

CPS Launches Defendants Strategy

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A commitment to fairness for all parties is at the heart of a new Defendants Strategy, launched this week by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The three-year strategy addresses areas where...

Barristers’ Strike Action

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With effect from 27th June 2022 barristers in England & Wales will be taking industrial action in order to protest against what they see as the deteriorating state of the...
A recent Court of Appeal case shed some light on the use of algorithms to measure the likely quantities of drugs supplied by a particular defendant. The algorithm has been...

Corporate Criminal Liability

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The problem The general rule for attributing liability to companies in English and Welsh criminal law is the ‘identification principle’. This states that where a particular mental state is required,...

New Criminal Justice Initiatives

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It has been a busy week for new policy announcements, with these coming from the Ministry of Justice in the last few days. Prison leavers tagged to cut alcohol-fuelled crime...
The Sentencing Council has this week published revised sentencing guidelines for a number of sexual offences. These new guidelines will apply to those sentenced on or after 31 May 2022,...
Revised sentencing guidelines for domestic, non-domestic and aggravated burglary offences in England and Wales, which come into effect on 1 July 2022 (for persons sentenced on or after that date),...

Alcohol Tags

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Alcohol tags were launched as part of the government’s plans to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime. Following a successful rollout in Wales, the tags were introduced in England in March 2021. Offenders...
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