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Crime

Procedure – solicitors’ duties

New Law Society guidance on solicitors’ duties in the context of the Criminal Procedure Rules (amended in 2015) has been published, and is intended for all criminal law solicitors, particularly those acting for the defendant.

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Offences – psychoactive substances (2)

Is the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 an example of poor legislative drafting with potential for unintended consequences for the food industry? This is the question addressed by the author in this article on the Act that came into force in April 2016.

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Offences – psychoactive substances (1)

New legislation banning the ‘new generation’ of psychoactive substances came into force on 6 April 2016. The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 makes it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, possess on custodial premises, import or export psychoactive substances. Note that ‘mere’ possession will not be an offence (except in custodial institutions).

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Procedure – amended CPR

Important changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 came into force on 4 April 2016. The new rules (Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016) cover:

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Freezing orders – guidance

The court has given useful guidance on the procedural aspects of obtaining disclosure and property freezing orders (PFO). A PFO can be obtained both before and after the commencement of civil recovery proceedings, and an application can be made without notice.

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Offences – Theft Act

The driving must have been at fault for a person to be convicted of aggravated vehicle taking under s12A Theft Act 1968. The appellant (A) in this case successfully appealed a point of law that arose in his trial for aggravated vehicle taking under s12A. 
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Offences – sentencing

This article provides busy practitioners with a helpful summary of further changes that have come into force under the Serious Crime Act 2015. 
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Procedure – evidence

The refusal by the courts to permit disclosure of material in a case heard in camera to the ECtHR did not constitute a breach of international law. 
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Sentencing – mitigating and aggravating factors

The trial judge’s starting point as to sentencing had been too high due to mitigating factors, and the sentence for another defendant had been too long given his limited involvement in the offence. In this case, the Court of Appeal allowed the appellants’ appeals against sentences following convictions for conspiracy to blackmail.
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Offences – bribery

The SFO has sentenced Sweett Group PLC following a conviction for failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a contract with Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company contrary to s7(1)(b) Bribery Act 2010.
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Sickness – on holiday
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