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Posted by edelegal | 22 September 2020| Blog

The government has recently approved a proposal to reform the disclosure of criminal records.   A review of the sentencing system found that a critical element in reducing offending was having access to employment. Having unspent convictions can be a barrier to gaining employment, so the proposal is to change the law to reduce the...

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Posted by edelegal | 18 September 2020| Blog

This is the name of the paper presented to Parliament that proposes changes to the sentencing and release frameworks in the criminal justice system.   The paper sets out the “problems” they have identified in the system as being automatic release, improving confidence and addressing the causes of offending.   Automatic release – the blanket use...

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Posted by edelegal | 11 September 2020| Blog

The Law Commission, which advises the government on law reform has published a report advising changes to laws covering online abuse.   Online abuse is covered in the ‘communications offences’ found in section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.   The Law Commission believes that “these...

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Posted by edelegal | 08 September 2020| Blog

In March, nearly 50% of courts were closed, and jury trials were halted to reduce interaction between court users dramatically. Although 90% of courts have re-opened there is a backlog of cases.   The government has announced a series of new measures to address the current delays in criminal courts. Although some lawyers would argue...

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Posted by edelegal | 02 September 2020| Blog

The Official Secrets Act protects the United Kingdom from spying and leaks. The legislation dates back to 1911, 1920, 1939 and was last updated in 1989.   Since then, there have been many advances in data technology and communications affecting the nature of unauthorised disclosures and espionage.   As a result, the Law Commission has...

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Posted by edelegal | 02 September 2020| Blog

The idea of lurking doubt as a ground of appeal was first identified in the case of Cooper [1969] 1 QB 267 when the Court held:   ‘…we are indeed charged to allow an appeal against conviction if we think that the verdict of the jury should be set aside on the ground that under...

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Posted by edelegal | 26 August 2020| Blog

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 makes provision for the surrender of certain weapons. Sections 44, 46, 54 and 55 of the  Act amend various pieces of legislation with the effect that it becomes an offence to possess certain dangerous knives, offensive weapons, firearms and ancillary equipment which it was previously lawful to keep (including certain...

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Posted by edelegal | 21 August 2020| Blog

Legal experts are warning that an onslaught of new cases is inevitable for the Serious Fraud Office amid the coronavirus-prompted recession.   “I envisage that much more serious fraud will be uncovered in the next six to 12 months. The SFO will be even more relevant than it has been before, post-pandemic,” says Sam Tate,...

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Posted by edelegal | 21 August 2020| Blog

In many cases, despite the fact an offence is serious enough for a custodial sentence to be imposed, this can be avoided if the court can be persuaded to suspend the prison sentence.   Which length of sentence can be suspended?   The sentence must meet these rules:   For those aged 21+ at conviction,...

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Posted by edelegal | 21 August 2020| Blog

The presence of fibres on a person or object is a relatively common feature of serious criminal cases, in particular cases of murder or other serious violence.   Fibres can be easily transferred, and their presence can indicate a link between people, locations and/or objects.   We know that a significant transfer of fibres can...

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