Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Unfitness to Plead ~ Reform is required


Under present-day law, if a question is raised in the Crown Court as to whether a defendant (D) is unfit to plead then the question will be decided by the judge taking into account medical evidence. If the decision is that D is unfit to plead then a jury can be asked to determine whether D ‘did the act or made the omission charged against him as the offence” – Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (as amended).

In R v Marcantonio [2016] EWCA Crim 14 the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) reiterated the law regarding unfitness to plead - see paragraphs 1 to 9. The court stated -

Whether an accused is fit to plead is determined

Friday, 24 July 2020

Sentencing ~ some developments

The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders or neurological impairments. The new Guidance is effective from 1 October 2020.


Sentencing Council - 22 July 2020 and Sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders, or neurological impairments

The following is a very brief

Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 + Other amendments

The law is stated as at 23 July 2020. Amendment is likely.

On 14 July, the government announced plans to required "face coverings" to be worn in shops and supermarkets with effect from 24 July.

The legislation finally arrived at 1.15 pm today when The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament. An Explanatory Memorandum is available.

As with other similar Regulations, the legal basis

The ISC's Russia Report ~ some notes

This previous post (17 July) looked at Parliament's Intelligence and Scrutiny Committee ('the ISC').

On 21 July the committee issued its long-awaited report on "Russia" - see the report and press release on the ISC website

The report has considerable redactions and an entire Annex is redacted but it is interesting, even if unsurprising, reading. After all,

Physical harm to a child ~ conviction quashed

On 6 December 2019 in the Crown Court at Durham (Judge Adkin and a jury) the appellant (RN) was convicted of two counts of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child contrary to section 5 of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 (Counts 1 and 2). RN's appeal against conviction  has been allowed.

RN v R [2020] EWCA Crime 937 - Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Fulford LJ, Garnham and Farbey JJ.

Section 5 (as amended from 2 July 2012 by the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012) is the offence

Friday, 17 July 2020

Intelligence and Security Committee ~ Chair, Members, Russia Report

Updated 22 July 2020

ISC Chair and Membership:

Dr Julian Lewis MP (New Forest East) has been appointed Chair of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The committee has nine members including the former Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Mr Chris Grayling.

The committee had to be reappointed following the General Election held on 12 December 2019. After seven months, the membership has been finalised- see Hansard House of Commons 13 July 2020 and House of Lords 14 July 2020.

It was widely reported that

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Sutherland v HM Advocate ~ Supreme Court judgment ~ Paedophile Hunters

The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in Sutherland v Her Majesty's Advocate [2020] UKSC 32.

The legal issue was whether prosecutions based on the covert sting operations of "paedophile hunters" are compatible with the right to private life and correspondence - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the court's website - "Paedophile hunters" are "self-appointed vigilantes who impersonate children in order to expose people who they consider to be sexual predators. Some of these groups

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Coronavirus: the mix of Law and Guidance

The government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has included making law and issuing guidance but what is the relationship between the two? Are they distinct so that law is that which must be obeyed and guidance is only mere recommendation? These are interesting, and far from easy-to-answer, questions.

Law:

The relevant law includes The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (as amended) where legal restrictions are set out. These apply to

Friday, 10 July 2020

Amendment of the Coronavirus Restrictions legislation

The law is stated as at 10 July 2020. Amendment is likely.

The government has made The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/719) which amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/684) - (see previous post of 3 July 2020).

An Explanatory Memorandum accompanies the Amendment.

Yet again, the powers in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 are the basis for this secondary legislation.

The amending legislation will

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The "lockdown" Regulations ~ judicial review ~ permission hearing

Simon Dolan and Lauren Monks have been refused permission for a judicial review of the "lockdown" regulations in England - (previous post 27 May).

Judgment of Mr Justice Lewis - Dolan and Monks v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 1786 (Admin. The applicants sought permission to bring proceedings to challenge the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 as amended ("the Regulations") and what was described as a decision to close schools and educational establishments.

Lewis J noted

Friday, 3 July 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020

The law is stated as at 3 July 2020. Amendment is likely.
 
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force at 00.01 am on 4 July 2020. They replace the previous Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) legislation.

The No.2 Regulations are made using the powers in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. (The same powers were used to make the previous "lockdown" regulations). The Secretary of State considers that the restrictions and requirements imposed by the new Regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve, which is a public health response to the coronavirus threat. In accordance with section 45R of the 1984 Act the Secretary of State is of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it is necessary to make the new regulations without a draft having been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

Leicester is in a somewhat different legal position because specific Regulations have been made for a "protected area" defined mainly by postcodes in the Leicester area (see below).