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Crime

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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Procedure – CPR

There are procedural developments for practitioners to be aware of.

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Air space and ground below - common parts
Monday, 16 September 2019
UKUT has held that leases of the airspace above and ground below a leasehold block of flats must be classed as common parts of the building and were able to be acquired. Read more...
Buyout obligation - not triggered until price determined
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The CA has reached a common-sense decision in relation to buying out an outgoing partner's share. The case involved a family-owned agricultural partnership agreement which provided that on retirement... Read more...
Client care letters - SRA guidance
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The new codes of conduct for solicitors and firms come into force on 25 November 2019. The SRA is releasing guidance on various aspects of the new standards and regulations and has recently made... Read more...
Consumer Contracts Regulations - a reminder
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In its guidance on client care letters, the SRA reminds us in passing that the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 require legal services providers... Read more...
Eviction of squatters - what are the options?
Monday, 16 September 2019
Trespass to land is where a person or persons enters onto or remains on land without the express or implied consent of the person with immediate right to possession, eg where a neighbour builds a... Read more...
Experts - joint statement
Monday, 16 September 2019
CPR 35.12 provides for discussions between experts. These are not obligatory unless directed by the court, but such direction may be given at any stage of the proceedings. The object of the... Read more...
HMLR plans - defects
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HMLR PG40 contains various supplements detailing the requirements in relation to plans accompanying HMLR applications. Supplement 2 (guidance for preparing plans) has been updated to state that: Read more...
Letting agency - masquerading as membership club
Monday, 16 September 2019
A London trading standards team recently prosecuted a director of a company for setting up what was described as a member's club, but which in reality was a lettings agency. The purpose of such was... Read more...
Philosophical belief - scope extended?
Monday, 16 September 2019
The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination based on nine characteristics, one of which is any religious or philosophical belief. Not all religions or beliefs are covered by the... Read more...
Pleadings - third party enquiries
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The CA has recently considered the scope of CPR r16.5 which prescribes that: Read more...

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