CPS launches Defendants strategy

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 suspects and defendants may face challenges when involved in the criminal justice system, focusing on three priorities – mental health, youth justice and the proportionality … Continued

Barristers’ Strike Action

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 criminal justice system. A form of action, known as “no return” is already in place, but further measures are being taken in order to force … Continued

Drug Supply – the role of algorithms

Drug Supply – the role of algorithms 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 designed by a police officer of the Metropolitan Police Service, in collaboration with an organisation called Forensic Analytics. … Continued

Causing Death by Dangerous Driving

The offence of causing death by dangerous driving currently carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. In a recent case (Hughes [2022] EWCA Crim 538) the sentencing judge adopted a starting point of 14 years (the maximum) before discounting it for a guilty plea. During the Crown’s opening, when reference was made to the … Continued

Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Offences

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, and in one case to those sentenced on or after 1 July 2022. Which offences are covered by these changes? The revisions cover: Arranging or facilitating … Continued

Crackdown on waste crime

The Environment Agency Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan, has made a speech on waste crime at an event with Let’s Recycle and the Environmental Services Association. The Executive said that he called waste crime the “new narcotics” six years ago. In the same way, it took some time for the authorities to wake up to … Continued

Smacking children

  The common law has long had a concept of “reasonable chastisement” when it comes to disciplining children. A parent or person in loco parentis may administer reasonable corporate punishment, although concepts of “reasonableness” have narrowed. In 2001 the Court considered the issue of reasonableness and said that standards change as the years pass and … Continued

Facial recognition

Facial Recognition The College of Policing has published a guide to the use of live facial recognition technology. The guide is intended to ensure a consistent approach across forces with a clear legal and ethical framework. The College sets out five aims for the guidance: live facial recognition (LFR) technology should be used in a … Continued

Drug driving crackdown

  The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced a consultation on the issue of whether those convicted of drug driving should have to undergo rehabilitation.Those convicted of drink driving, as opposed to drug driving, are usually offered the drink driver rehabilitation course. If successfully completed within the set time, the offender is given a reduction … Continued

Speed camera jamming and perverting the course of justice

  Jason Moore recently appealed against his conviction for perverting the course of justice. He had fitted a Laser Star to his van. This device has the capacity to jam a speed meter and act as a parking sensor. A number of years later, he drove the van and passed some roadside speed monitoring equipment. … Continued

Witness intimidation and perverting the course of justice

  The Sentencing Council is an independent body promoting greater consistency in sentencing while maintaining the independence of the judiciary. The Council is responsible for developing sentencing guidelines for use by the judiciary and criminal justice professionals and also monitors their use. New draft guidelines for the offences of witness intimidation and perverting the course … Continued

A journalist and their sources

  A case recently came before the Recorder of London. It was ruled that it was not in the public interest to force a journalist to hand over material that would identify a potential terrorist. The journalist in question was Chris Mullin, and the police applied for an order for him to produce excluded material. … Continued