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6.10.18

We need to talk about sex offences. Again.

Sex offences, and in particular the way rape charges are dealt with from start to finish, are due yet another serious conversation. There are no easy answers. It is clear that, aside from a few rotten apples, many hard-working police and prosecutors are between a rock and hard place. No-one sensible would argue against due…

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16.09.18

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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9.09.18

Roxanne Pallett, common assault and the need for careful reflection

ITV’s Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett has apparently attracted 25,000 complaints following her exaggerated complaint of assault made against Ryan Thomas, a fellow resident in the Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) house. In keeping with the reality show, the incident was caught on camera after Mr Thomas playfully sparred with Ms Pallett, catching her with a light…

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7.08.18

Clearing your name: the devil is in the detail

Statistically, most people charged with criminal offences are guilty as charged. In fact, the vast majority either plead ‘guilty’ of their own volition, or are found guilty at trial and are sentenced. Quite apart from the sentencing, there are rules about how long those convictions remain ‘live’ (meaning they must be disclosed to potential employers)….

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18.06.18

Section 22 Confiscation Applications – What should I do?

It has become increasingly common for police and Crown prosecutors to look to re-open old satisfied confiscation orders in the hope of getting additional revenue. Resources are scarce and this procedure presents an opportunity to obtain some much needed income. Quite often the subject of such applications is the equity in a matrimonial home in…

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3.04.18

Will the next DPP please stand up and be counted?

It has been reported Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, will not have her contract renewed when her five-year term expires in September.  Ms Saunders denies that she has been “forced out”, claiming that she decided to move into private practice last year and informed the government herself that she would be unable to…

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15.12.17

Forensic lab potential data manipulation casts doubt on thousands of criminal cases

Over 10,000 criminal cases are due to be reviewed by Police following an alleged manipulation of forensic data at Randox Testing, a laboratory in Manchester responsible for analysing evidence of drug driving, sexual offences and violent crimes. The Forensic Service Regulator and the Police were first notified of a potential issue arising from the test…

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26.10.17

Incompetent prosecutors cost us far more than money

Friday 20 October saw a pretty brutal broadside by the Times newspaper against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Referring to CPS insiders’ claims largely from 2-3 years ago, The Times laid the following charges: (1) That the CPS entrusted certain ‘senior’ level Prosecutors with very serious criminal trials despite it being clear those Prosecutors were…

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6.05.17

Police to replace ‘insufficient evidence’ notification

Suspects in criminal investigations will no longer be told that they will not be prosecuted on the basis of ‘insufficient evidence’ the Home Office has announced. A consultation with the Police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Attorney General’s Office took place following concerns raised that the current wording raises doubt on an individual’s innocence….

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9.01.17

Can an entire CPS department be ‘professionally embarrassed’ and have to withdraw from a prosecution?

On 16 December 2016, a road rage prosecution against two defendants was dismissed after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advocate withdrew on the day of trial, citing ‘professional embarrassment’.  Despite the case being put back in the list, no replacement CPS advocate could be found and so the case could not continue. Stockport Magistrates then…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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