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Crime

Practice – disclosure

The high-profile collapse of a number of rape cases following disclosure failings by the police has thrown rape prosecutions into the spotlight. Against this background, the author discusses the reasons behind disclosure failings in criminal proceedings.

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Procedure – legal aid

Practitioners should note that the Criminal Legal Aid (Amendment) Regulations 2017 are in force from this month (21 February 2018). Under these regulations, various amendments are made to criminal legal aid legislation to expand the scope of criminal legal aid to include:

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Evidence – circumstantial evidence

There was strong circumstantial evidence and A’s robbery conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal. A appealed his robbery conviction for which he was sentenced to a term of five years’ imprisonment. He denied being involved in the robbery.

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Manslaughter – duty of care

A, who ran an Indian restaurant, was convicted of manslaughter when a customer died after eating a meal containing substantial amounts of peanuts. The victim, knowing he had an allergy to peanuts, had been specifically told by a waiter that it contained no nuts.

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Evidence – good character

In this useful article, the author examines issues relating to good character following the Court of Appeal ruling in R v Green [2017]. In that case, the judge drew attention to the complainant’s good character in his summing up, telling the jury that there was a level playing field as far as character was concerned. The author says this diminished the effect of D’s good character.

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Defences – general defences

The author provides a useful summary of general defences available to defendants in light of recent case law. For instance, self-defence can potentially be a defence to allegations of both dangerous and careless driving, recognising that there may be a need for responsive force in particular circumstances.

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Offences – public order

What is a ‘dwelling’ for the purposes of the Public Order Act 1986 (POA)? The author of this article analyses two issues concerning public order offences in detail: the extent of the meaning of ’dwelling’; and public order offences generally.

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Procedure – hearsay

D successfully appealed his conviction on two counts of kidnapping, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison. Despite being married, D had had a relationship with a woman which had ended some time before the incident in question. On the relevant date, the woman (his ex-partner) was in her flat and a male friend was staying over that night on the sofa.

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Manslaughter – foreseeability

In assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, it was not appropriate to take into account what a reasonable person in D’s position would have known but for theirbreach of duty.  

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Offences – new corporate offence

Now that the corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 has come into force (on 30 September 2017), practitioners will welcome Law Society guidance on this new offence.  

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