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. They are automatic release, improving confidence and addressing the causes of offending.
Automatic release – the blanket use of automatic release was said to...Read More
In cases where there is more than one defendant, it is a common scenario that one or more pleads guilty, perhaps at an early stage, but others continue their case to trial. When should those who plead guilty early on be sentenced?
A question then arises as to whether those who have pleaded guilty earlier should be sentenced immediately, or at some other point.
The starting point is that a...Read More
Sentencing is a complex process. Consequently the courts are provided with guidelines by the Sentencing Council. These assist in determining the appropriate sentence for a wide, and ever-expanding, range of offences.
The guidelines provide guidance on factors the court should take into account that may affect the sentence given.
Different levels of sentence are set out based on the harm...Read More
The EU has published a report, ‘Rights in practice: access to a lawyer and procedural rights in criminal and European arrest warrant proceedings’ This report details the extent to which fundamental human rights, in the context of criminal justice, are upheld across the EU. This includes the impact on those facing extradition proceedings.
Why is this important?
Protecting the rights...Read More
We interchangeably use many terms to describe legal professionals: lawyers, solicitors, legal advisers, attorneys (an Americanism), a ‘brief’. There are countless others in common usage.
Regrettably, this flexibility with language allows for confusion. When viewing many legal websites, you would be forgiven for thinking that you are dealing with a qualified legal professional....Read More
Everyone will be aware that Brexit is coming and it is likely that we will be leaving the EU on 31st October 2019. Now, details have begun to emerge as to the legal and regulatory position if we leave without a deal. Some of the first information released relates to firearms legislation, for instance. Unfortunately, it raises more questions than it answers.
Given the importance of complying to...Read More
If you are being sentenced, the court will be aware of, and may take into account, any convictions you have. Whether this has any impact upon the sentence passed will very much depend on the date of those convictions and the relevance of any to the more recent offending.
If you plead not guilty, the court or jury can only be made aware of any convictions in certain circumstances. The relevant...Read More
You have been convicted of a crime you didn’t commit, your appeals are exhausted, and you serve time in prison. Part way through, you’re eligible for parole. So you hope finally to get out and put this behind you.
The parole board give you their decision, but parole is refused, seemingly because you refuse to accept your guilt. What can you do?
The Parole Board
The role of the Parole Board is...Read More
The press has recently reported that children who were victims of serious sexual abuse have received paltry sums, £20 for example, as compensation from the courts.
So, what exactly is a criminal compensation order?
The court has a duty to consider making a compensation order in any case where personal injury, loss, or damage has resulted from the offence. If it does not make a compensation...Read More
Prison is supposed to be a punishment. But it’s also designed to help people address their behaviour and stop them re-offending. When imprisonment leads to more offending, it isn’t working.
The specific problems faced by women have been highlighted recently by the Farmer Review for Women. Lord Farmer hopes to improve women’s experience within the criminal justice system with the aim of...Read More