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Articles tagged with: Sentencing/plea bargaining

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[ 25 Feb 2014 | No Comment ]
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 …

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[ 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 …

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[ 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 …

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[ 29 Jan 2014 | One Comment ]
Domestic abuse – why creating a specific offence is not the answer

By Michelle Heeley
The Offences Against the Person Act has been in law since 1861. It covers all forms of physical assault ranging from the most serious, such as stabbing someone, to common assault which can be committed merely by spitting at someone. Marital rape is an offence, as is pursuing a course of conduct which amounts to harassment. Despite these laws, MPs are now seeking to introduce a new offence of Domestic Abuse, aimed solely at offences carried out within relationships. The offence would be defined as, “intentionally, wilfully or recklessly …

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[ 18 Dec 2013 | Comments Off ]
Sentencing sexual offenders – a lost opportunity?

By Felicity Gerry, Catarina Sjölin and Lyndon Harris
The Sentencing Council has issued a new Guideline in relation to sexual offences this month. The aim: “to help ensure appropriate and consistent sentences for sex offenders”, says the accompanying press release.
The Guideline covers more than 50 sexual offences and is “the largest and most complex” that the Sentencing Council has ever produced, but does it go far enough?
The Sentencing Council has made it plain that victims are central to the issue of sentencing. They have, for example, ensured that guideline sentences for rape …