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Month: February 2017


Psychoactive Substances Act 2016: A Guide

The Act came into force in May 2016 and fairly dramatically extends the criminalisation of the possession and supply of substances which can generically be referred to as ‘drugs’. It does not affect the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 which remains in force in connection with the possession, supply and trafficking of cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy,…

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Max Campbell interviewed by Russia 24 about online harassment trends

Brett Wilson LLP Solicitor Max Campbell has been interviewed by Russia 24’s International Review programme. Mr Campbell was asked about recent trends including the law relating to ‘revenge porn’ (disclosing intimate images without consent).

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Iain Wilson interviewed by BBC News about Piers Morgan/JK Rowling Twitter spat

Brett Wilson partner Iain Wilson has been interviewed by BBC London News and provided expert comment on the Twitter spat between Piers Morgan and JK Rowling, and the potential legal ramifications of tweeting.

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Diminished Responsibility: A defence to murder

“Diminished responsibility” is a defence to murder. The burden of proof is on the defendant to show that is more likely than not that he suffered from such abnormality of the mind that, having unlawfully killed another person, his conviction ought to be for manslaughter as opposed to murder. The practical effect, in so far…

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SDT rejects misconduct charge against solicitor who recommended surveillance of opponent lawyers

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has found that Farrer & Co Solicitor Julian Pike did not commit professional conduct when he advised his client News International to arrange the surveillance of two lawyers acting for victims of phone-hacking (understood to be Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris).  At the time Mr Harris was defending phone-hacking claims for his…

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Finsbury Park Mosque wins libel damages against controversial World Check database

The company that runs Finsbury Park Mosque this week obtained libel damages from Reuters Ltd, the international news agency which publishes the controversial ‘World Check’ database. Finsbury Park Mosque was led by Abu Hamza until 2003. Other controversial figures to have attended the Mosque in that period include Abu Qatada, and the ‘shoebomber’ Richard Reid….

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Police Bail reforms: a cosmetic gesture?

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 (which received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017) will introduce changes to the pre-charge bail setting an initial period of 28 days, authorised by a Custody Sergeant.  This period can be extended further by a superintendent, in ‘exceptional circumstances’ for a period up to a maximum of three months. …

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The Sex Offenders Register: How it works

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 imposes notification requirements on persons (or in the case of young people on their parents) convicted or cautioned for certain sexual offences. It also applies to those proven to have committed acts by virtue of their disability or found not guilty by reason of insanity. Such notification requirements are imposed…

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GMC urges increased caution over release of medical records to solicitors

The General Medical Council (GMC) has issued updated guidelines (to come into force on 25 April 2017) providing a stricter and definitive means of determining whether or not to disclose confidential medical information.  The Guidance, which can be found here, contains eight principles of good practice in handling patient information and includes a requirement to…

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Libel/Defamation: Moroccan Prince wins libel and data protection appeal against Arabic news publisher

Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah Al Alouai of Morocco (‘the Prince’) has won an appeal against Elaph Publishing Limited (‘Elaph’) that now allows him to advance a claim under the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’) and also overturned a previous ruling that the words published were not capable of being defamatory. Factual background The Prince’s…

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Legal Disclaimer

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