The Practical Lawyer


Sentencing – general guideline

 A new general guideline for sentencing offences not covered by any of the 130-plus specific sentencing guidelines is now in force as of 1 October 2019. Expanded explanations of sentencing guidelines have also been published which, for instance, add additional information relating to aggravating and mitigating factors. 
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Terrorism – notice of detention

A revised notice of detention which examining officers must provide to someone detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 has been published by the government. The notice gives information to a detained person about their rights and obligations under Schedules 7 and 8 of the Act and particularly clarifies the conditions under which their fingerprints and non-intimate samples can be taken.
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Sentencing – possession

An appellant’s sentence of 18 months’ detention in a young offenders’ institution should have been suspended as the judge had adopted too rigid an approach in not suspending it.
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Procedure - private prosecutions

A Code for Private Prosecutors setting out best practice has been produced by the Private Prosecutors' Association, reflecting the reality that private prosecutions raise unique issues and challenges not present in public prosecutions. The Code is voluntary and is aimed primarily at private prosecutors and law firms acting for them.

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Offences - 'potting'

The Court of Appeal has given guidance on the sentencing of 'potting', ie where a prisoner throws or smears a prison officer with urine, faeces or both. Normally a prison discipline matter, potting may be a criminal offence under s24 Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

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Sentencing - psychological harm

The Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance on the approach a sentencing judge should take when assessing whether a victim of crime has suffered severe psychological harm, for the purposes of a relevant sentencing guideline.

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Sentencing - victim surcharge

The MoJ has published new victim surcharges which are effective for offences committed on or after 28 June 2019.

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Procedure - wasted costs

The circumstances confronting the trial judge after counsel's closing speech fell way short of justifying the discharge of the jury. The wasted costs order made due to counsel's misconduct was therefore revoked.

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Practice – human trafficking

The Law Society has published a new practice note in response to the significant rise in human trafficking to and within the UK – with child victims of trafficking needing special protective measures.
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Offences – offensive weapons

The Offensive Weapons Act came into force on 16 May 2019, introducing tough new measures including new prohibitions under the Firearms Act 1968. 
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Most-read articles

Inheritance claims – interim payments
Wednesday, 09 October 2019
When can the court exercise its statutory power to award interim payments to a claimant under the Inheritance Act? This issue rarely comes before the court and the author of this article highlights... Read more...
Refund entitlement – taxable amount not reduced
Wednesday, 09 October 2019
In their monthly VAT update, EY report on a case that will be interesting to lawyers as the facts involved an SDLT avoidance scheme (perhaps unsurprisingly, the four companies involved are in... Read more...
Costs – challenge promptly
Friday, 04 October 2019
Litigation solicitors will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief to note that a costs judge has refused a claimant’s application to challenge a solicitor’s bill that was agreed and approved over four... Read more...
Serving overseas – check the rules
Friday, 04 October 2019
 It might sound obvious, but if a firm is instructed to serve proceedings overseas, the firm must ensure that the rules of service in the relevant country are properly observed. The CA recently... Read more...
Pet rent – permissible
Friday, 04 October 2019
The excellent Pain Smith blog reminds us about the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (which we reported on in our previous editions – March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28)). The Act outlaws letting fees paid by... Read more...
Brexit frustration – update
Friday, 04 October 2019
We reported in our April 2019 edition (p27) on the interesting case where the HC had to consider whether potential departure by the UK from the EU was sufficient to satisfy the legal meaning of... Read more...
Fixtures – what passes on sale of land?
Friday, 04 October 2019
Property lawyers will recall their land law, which states that fixtures can pass on the sale of land but fittings do not. This can be seen as an archaic distinction – but a recent HC case has... Read more...
Parents – gender
Thursday, 03 October 2019
 A definition of the term ‘mother’ has been established for the first time under English common law in a landmark case. At issue was: where a person born female who has undergone gender... Read more...
Drugs and alcohol – managing in the workplace
Thursday, 03 October 2019
An interesting article reminds employers to review their drugs and alcohol policies and breaches of them in the light of recent developments. Businesses are increasingly expected to support employees... Read more...
Terrorism – notice of detention
Thursday, 03 October 2019
A revised notice of detention which examining officers must provide to someone detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 has been published by the government. The notice gives information... Read more...


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