Home » Archive

Articles tagged with: Sentencing/plea bargaining

Blog, Criminal, Human Rights »

[ 19 May 2014 | Comments Off ]
Prison for a day – the real issues continue to be ignored

By Lyndon Harris
Last week we read that the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith, has promulgated a new approach to sentencing, based on an American model. Those of you who are not of tender years will recall another approach to sentencing we took from the Americans – the sentencing guidelines; look how well they have turned out.
The proposal
The CSJ cite the well-rehearsed statistics about recidivism and the number of breaches of non-custodial sentences.
The BBC reported:
“The CSJ report found 17,066 people had their sentence …

Blog, Criminal »

[ 6 May 2014 | One Comment ]
Knife crime sentencing – let’s cut the politics

By Lyndon Harris
Chris Grayling announced an intention to amend the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill to include a provision providing for a six-month minimum sentence for a second knife-related offence. This was met with opposition from Grayling’s Liberal coalition partners (more of which later).
Sentencing has long been an area ripe for political point scoring: “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”… “I want to be the tough Justice Secretary”…”tough new sentencing powers”. The amount of criminal justice legislation affecting sentencing is frightening. Sentencing legislation is two a penny …

Blog, Criminal »

[ 25 Feb 2014 | Comments Off ]
Lee Rigby’s murderers – are whole life terms inevitable?

By Elaine Freer
Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were convicted of murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby last year. Sentencing was adjourned, however, until such time as the domestic courts had ruled on the legality of the whole life tariff following the Strasbourg ruling in Vinter v UK.
 The ECtHR held in Vinter that to impose a whole life tariff period with no prospect of review, and thus no hope of release, was incompatible with Art 3 of the ECHR. Last week the Court of Appeal nonetheless upheld the whole life tariff in the …

Blog, Criminal, Human Rights »

[ 19 Feb 2014 | 2 Comments ]
Whole life appeal – not quite a “victory” over Strasbourg

By Lyndon Harris
On 18 February 2014, a specially constituted five-judge Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) handed down its judgment in the latest (but not necessarily the last) round of the Westminster vs Strasbourg battle over whole life tariffs.
Much has been written already about the effect of the judgment. Some of it of questionable accuracy, quality and usefulness (the linked to article having originally confused the EU and the ECtHR).
This article will attempt to provide a concise summary of the issues and effect of the judgment.
Useful links 

A summary of the issues …

Blog, Criminal, Human Rights, Legal Profession & Courts »

[ 3 Feb 2014 | Comments Off ]
Whole life sentences – the issues before the Court of Appeal

By Lyndon Harris
On 24 January 2014, a five-judge Court of Appeal sat to hear the latest in the legal-political battle between London and Strasbourg.
The Court heard three conjoined appeals on the issue of whether or not a whole life tariff was capable of being imposed in light of the decision by the ECtHR in Vinter and Others v UK (Applications nos. 66069/09, 130/10 and 3896/10).
Life sentences 
When a life sentence is imposed, the court is usually required to set a minimum term, which must be served. At the expiration of the …