The Practical Lawyer


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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