Police bail: An unaccountable anomaly?

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Background

This article intends to deal with the situation whereby a person is suspected of committing a criminal offence. After arrest, interview, or both, the police have three options at their disposal: Continue reading

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Legal aid cuts cause case to collapse

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A joint trial of five defendants accused of serious fraud offences has today been stayed due to the recent cuts to legal aid. The trial, R v Crawley and others, codenamed Operation Cotton, has previously been adjourned on several occasions due to the defendants being unable to find any barristers to represent them.

Due to the seriousness and complexity of this case, it is classified as a Very High Cost Case, more commonly referred to as a VHCC. In this particular case the volume of papers amounts to some 46,030 pages. There are in addition 194 excel spreadsheets with a combined total of 864,200 lines of entry and the Case Summary covers 55 pages alone. Continue reading

Employment law changes: past and present

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The 6th April 2014; a key date in any employment lawyer’s diary. Year on year, the start of a new financial year means the introduction of new employment laws to coincide. This article will first look back and analyse the impact of last year’s changes, before providing Continue reading

Legal Aid cuts: Where are we now?

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The Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) final consultation response was published on 27 February 2014. This was a sad day for not only the practitioners involved and the criminal bar as a whole, but also a sad day for justice. The response made it clear that the MOJ are going ahead with their savage fee cuts as planned, failing to heed to the masses who have tenaciously opposed such cuts. The Criminal Bar, however, are not giving up.

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Defending the undefendable?

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A question that is commonly asked to criminal defence practitioners is, ‘how can you defend a murderer?’ In the light of the murder of Lee Rigby, and the huge criticism of the defence barristers, this article will explain why nobody is undefendable and how everybody should be defended in the same way, no matter what.

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Does life mean life? Life sentences explained

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“Sentence for murder is mandatory – it must be one of life imprisonment” remarked the judge in his sentencing; however, does life imprisonment really mean life imprisonment? The Sentencing Council themselves admit that ‘this is a complex area and there are many misunderstandings around it.’ This article seeks to set out the current legal position, especially in light of recent cases which have been instrumental in assisting to answer such a question. Continue reading

Cuts to Legal aid: What will they mean for me?

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It would seem one motive for the Government’s desire to make cuts to legal aid would appear to be the fact that they think they can get away with it without losing many votes; other than a minority of lawyers, nobody else seems to really know about the cuts let alone realise how they may be affected. Continue reading