Historic sexual abuse:
Barrister Felicity Gerry writes on the subject of historic sex abuse cases on her blog - Justice for historic sexual abuse. Gerry highlights some of the difficulties inherent in criminal prosecutions and goes on to look at the possibility of civil actions against institutions which employed abusers. Earlier posts - Jimmy Savile (4/10/12) and Vicarious Liability in Tort (21/11/12).
Parliamentary Papers of interest:
A couple of Parliamentary papers are of interest. One paper looks at Human Rights cases since 1975. The other deals with the continuing issue of voting rights for serving prisoners.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale's case:
Sergeant Danny Nightingale will face a retrial before the Court Martial in July. A previous blogpost covers the case to date. In March 2013, Sgt. Nightingale's sentence was quashed - (judgment) - and a retrial ordered. The conviction was quashed because of an unsolicited sentence indication by the trial judge - Judge McGrigor (Assistant Judge Advocate General) - which placed undue pressure on the defendant to plead guilty. On 1st May, The Guardian reported that the retrial is set for July and that it had been ruled that there was no abuse of process in emails allegedly showing that prosecutors acted improperly. For more on the Court Martial system see Ministry of Justice.
Sometimes, press reports make one wonder whether law enforcement can be somewhat heavy-handed. The Daily Mail reports on Kurtis Green (age 19) who has tended a war memorial for some 12 years and now finds himself under investigation for criminal damage. Why? Because he connected a water supply so that flower beds could be watered - Daily Mail 2nd May.
This week it has also been reported that some 10000 cases of violence have been dealt with by way of 'community resolutions' - BBC 30th April. These will not count as either convictions or cautions. In 2012, ACPO issued Guidelines on the use of Community Resolutions incorporating Restorative Justice.
The Supreme Court has issued three judgments.
Supreme Court Decided Cases.
R (on the application of Sturnham) (Appellant) v The Parole Board of England and Wales and another (Respondents)
WHA Limited and another (Appellants) v Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Respondent)
R (on the application of ClientEarth) (Appellant) v The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Respondent)