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Crime

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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Offences – parental alienation

The author picks up on the relevance and implications of parental alienation in the Crown Court and points out that parental alienation is not only a family court issue. 
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Proceeds of crime – enforcement in EU member state

A recent appeal related to the proposed enforcement of a confiscation order made under POCA 2002 in another EU member state (Spain). D pleaded guilty to a number of drugs offences and a confiscation order was subsequently made.
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Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...

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