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Clarity on Legal Professional Privilege from the Court of Appeal

In The Director of The Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2006 the Court of Appeal was asked to determine whether certain documents created during the course of an internal company investigation were subject to legal professional privilege. In April 2013, the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) commenced a criminal…

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Dredging up the past: prosecutors seeking to vary confiscation orders years later

A confiscation order can be made after a defendant is convicted of certain criminal offences.  It requires the defendant to pay back the ‘benefit’ that they have obtained from their criminal behaviour.  Such an order is effectively capped at the level of a defendant’s available assets. Under Section 22 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’)…

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Metropolitan police launch "Online Hate Crime Hub"

The Metropolitan Police are to set up a two-year pilot scheme involving five officers and a team of volunteers to identify online abuse and support victims.  Based in London, the team will filter and identify online hate crimes (hostile offences aggravated by reason of the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity) and allocate…

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"Legal Highs" no longer legal

On 26 May 2016 the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force criminalising the production, distribution, sale and supply of New Psychoactive Substances (‘NPS’), commonly known as ‘legal highs’.  These measures ban a range of products including ‘Spice’, ‘Salvia’ and more notably nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and mephedrone (‘meow meow’). The Act does not criminalise simple possession…

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Culture Secretary calls for overhaul of online abuse law

Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, and Senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper have both called for a review of the law governing online harassment, stalking and abuse to prevent inconsistent enforcement and to encourage those affected to report the crime. The current position With the continuing rise in users of social media and a plethora of…

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Increased court fees denying access to justice claims Master of the Rolls

Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, the country’s most senior civil judge, has expressed his concern over the effect of large year’s increase in court fees.  In March 2015 fees for claims valued at £10,000 or above began attracting a court fee of 5%.  This resulted in some fees increasing by nearly 600%. The ‘enhanced fees’ that were introduced…

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First woman convicted of revenge porn offence narrowly avoids jail

Paige Mitchell, aged 24, has become the first woman to be convicted under the new revenge porn laws that were brought into effect in April this year.  She had posted four explicit images of her ex-partner, which had been sent to her in the course of their relationship, on Facebook after an argument in May…

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QC removed from judicial posts after pursuit of 'abuse of process' application found to demonstrate lack of judgement

Kuldip singh QC, a Recorder of the Crown Court and Deputy High Court Judge, has been removed from his judicial positions following an investigation by the Office for Judicial Complaints.  The investigation was brought after the QC failed in his attempts to have a driving case against him dismissed as ‘an abuse of the court’s process’. Police claimed that…

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High Court hears internet contempt trials

The Attorney-General has appeared in person before the High Court to ask that two men be committed to jail for “acts likely to interfere with the administration of justice”.  In both instances the acts arise  from the use of the internet whilst jurors in criminal trial.  In an indication of how seriously the courts are treating the issue of internet use…

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FOI request suggests Bribery Act underused by sFO

A Freedom of Information request has identified that the serious Fraud Office (sFO) is currently investigating just two cases relating to the Bribery Act 2010.  Three other matters are said to be ‘in development’.  The sFO is yet to bring a prosecution under the Act. The Bribery Act, which came into force on 1 July 2011, has…

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