No Free Ride for Private Prosecutors

[Image credit: “£50 note” by HowardLake is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0] A peculiar aspect of the criminal costs regime is that a private prosecutor can apply for their costs to be paid by the State, regardless of whether they win or lose the case. This situation allows persons to pursue prosecutions which other bodies such as the Crown

Sentencing – Beware the Cliff Edge

[Image credit: “Cliffs of Moher” by Ian Capper is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0] Ellis Thomas pleaded guilty to a relatively minor public order offence and was sentenced to a community penalty. This penalty becomes the subject of Court of Appeal proceedings due to the following set of facts: “It was imposed on the appellant in the Crown Court

Encrochat and ‘Operation Venetic’

[Image credit: National Crime Agency, Crown Copyright reproduced under licence] The National Crime Agency this week announced that it had infiltrated the secure messaging system ‘Encrochat’, said to be used exclusively by people engaging in criminal activity. Operation Venetic has so far resulted in 746 arrests, and the seizure of: • Over £54million in cash•

Jury Trials and Covid 19

[Image credit: “The Royal Courts of Justice” by R/DV/RS is licensed under CC BY 2.0] Jury Trials and Covid 19 In a startling announcement, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland admitted that the right to a jury trial is in his sights and might be curtailed in a few weeks time. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the Crown Court case backlog was

A Summer of Protest?

(Image: “protest” by jpbourque is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) As we slowly exit the Covid19 ‘lockdown’ we have seen several protests in major cities. As life moves toward a more ‘normal’ footing, whatever that may be, and as we enter the Summer months, protest action may likely increase. In this article, we explore some of the legal powers

When Will I Be Sentenced?

(Image: “Bench” by Loozrboy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) In cases where there is more than one defendant, it is a common scenario that one of more pleads guilty, perhaps at an early stage, but others continue their case to trial. A question then arises as to whether those who have pleaded guilty earlier should be sentenced immediately,

Reporting restrictions

Although there is a general principle of open justice, that those who appear in court can be reported on, there are some exceptions. It is a contempt of court to publish anything to the public which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings will be seriously impeded or prejudiced, even

Postal Offences

As the Coronavirus crisis has forced almost everyone to spend more time at home, home deliveries have rocketed as people have been forced to shop online. While this means that many people will be at home to receive deliveries, there have been reports of organised criminal activity to steal parcels and other items of value.

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill

Following on from the terror attacks at Fishmongers Hall on 29 November 2019 and in Streatham on 2 February 2020 the government has announced the next phase of its tougher approach to terrorism offences. What are the aims of this proposed legislation? The Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill, is designed to further strengthen the approach taken