Intermediaries

The use of intermediaries during criminal trials is becoming increasingly commonplace. An intermediary may be used to assist any witness, including a defendant, give evidence. The functions of an intermediary “Intermediaries are communication specialists (not supporters or expert witnesses) whose role is to facilitate communication between the witness and the court, including the advocates. Intermediaries

Criminal Justice and Coronavirus

As the UK prepares to move into the ‘delay phase’, changes are expected to criminal justice procedure. So, what might be expected to change? Criminal Investigations In the event of any public disorder, work on low priority criminal investigations may slow or stall entirely as police resources are diverted elsewhere. Most police custody suites hold

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence is widely misunderstood, and many people cannot understand how a case can be advanced without primary evidence of wrongdoing. To illustrate this, we can use two examples relating to burglary. Burglary can be committed in quite a few different ways, but the most common allegation is that a person entered a building as

Forensic evidence

The Forensic Science Regulator regulates forensic scientists in England and Wales. The Regulator ensures that the provision of forensic science evidence across the criminal justice system is subject to appropriate standards. The Regulator has recently said that there are gaps in quality that need to be resolved in order to prevent the use of unreliable

Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’

We often get asked how prosecutions can proceed in the absence of cooperation from the victim or chief witness. The starting point is that no prosecution can go ahead unless there is a realistic prospect of conviction, but how the prosecution case is formulated remains a matter for the Crown Prosecution to decide. These are

Notification Requirements – Removal

A large number of people are subject to notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, many for an indeterminate period. The notification framework is often referred to as the ‘sex offender register’, and around 60,000 people are affected (although not all of those are subject to indeterminate notification). Last week several

Interpreters

Many people face court proceedings who do not necessarily have a detailed grasp of the English language. A defendant mustn’t be a mere observer of legal proceedings and that they, as fully as anyone not legally qualified can, participate fully. It is therefore vital that a qualified and competent interpreter is engaged to assist in