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Articles tagged with: Legal Profession/courts

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[ 22 Apr 2014 | No Comment ]
Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – new criminal offences

By Dan Bunting
Another year, and yet more criminal justice legislation. The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14  is going through Parliament at the moment, and it will come as no surprise that it includes new criminal offences. Here’s a quick look at them:
Research by jurors (s 44)
This adds a new s 20A-D to the Juries Act 1974. It comes off the back of the Law Commission Report on Juror Misconduct that was published on 9 December 2013 and effectively implements the recommendations, save that there is no exception for academic …

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[ 10 Apr 2014 | No Comment ]
Should judges question vulnerable witnesses?

By Matthew Seys-Llewellyn
Sir Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, has been in the news this week with the suggestion that vulnerable witnesses should be questioned by the Judge in the case rather than by counsel, and this idea should give us pause to reflect on both the role of the judge and the role of the advocate.
The English have traditionally viewed judges with a certain amount of distrust, perhaps because one man seemed easier to bribe than 12 men of the jury, or possibly because judges can become …

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[ 28 Mar 2014 | 2 Comments ]
Bar calls off action – views from the profession

By Rebecca Carter
In a turbulent week for criminal lawyers, the profession, until recently so united in protest against legal aid fee cuts, has voiced strong and mixed reaction to the Criminal Bar Association’s (CBA) decision to call off the imminent two days of action and their no returns policy.
The announcement from CBA Chairman Nigel Lithman QC came following a deal reached with the Ministry of Justice in which they agreed to suspend all fee cuts for graduated fee cases until the next general election in summer 2015: “This gives 89% …

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[ 19 Mar 2014 | No Comment ]
Spiralling out of control: can Jackson reforms rein in family fees?

By Pamela Collis 
As set out in my previous two articles, legal fees in family proceedings have caused consternation not only in the legal press (most recently with Shield v Shield where costs exceeding £1m pounds arose simply to resolve preliminary issues), but also in the popular press (with Young v Young hitting the headlines when £6.5m was spent by one side alone).
Despite the strictures of the Family Procedure Rules and subsequent practice directions, disproportionate costs still seem to arise on an all too common basis.
The Jackson reforms did not apply …

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[ 18 Mar 2014 | 5 Comments ]
Why unelected judges should get our vote: reflections on Lord Neuberger’s Law Lecture

By Peter Thompson
In his Cambridge Freshfield Lecture, Lord Neuberger gave a number of reasons, historical, geographical and emotional, for the view expressed in the Daily Mail and other newspapers that, “it is unacceptable for unelected judges to impose a diktat on a democratically elected parliament”. He said that this was a “peculiarly British” view, aimed particularly at the rulings on EU law by judges in Luxembourg and on human rights by judges in Strasbourg.
But I am not going to write about that. No, what troubles me about Lord Neuberger’s citation from the Daily …