Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Public Defenders ~ QASA ~ and other matters

Public Defenders:  

A little more on the developing Public Defender Service.  It looks like the PDS is being expanded by the government in order to challenge the independent Bar which has been active in opposing planned cuts to criminal legal aid.

Some research on the PDS covering the period May 2001 (when the service commenced) to 2004 is available here.

and now to other matters ....

A planned Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) was the subject of a judicial review.  The challenges to the legality of the planned scheme were rejected by the High Court.  It is a lengthy judgment but worth reading in full.   (Previous post: QASA: Snakes and Ladders 17th February 2012).

Marital coercion defence to be abolished:
A clause has been slipped into the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill to rid the law of the defence of marital coercion - The Guardian 17th January and see Law and Lawyers 2nd June 2012.  The last notable use of this defence was in the Vicky Pryce trial.  She was convicted.  Here is the clause ...

After Clause 162



Insert the following new Clause—
“Abolition of defence of marital coercion
(1)   The defence of marital coercion is abolished.
(2)   Accordingly, section 47 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 (coercion of
married woman by husband) is repealed.
(3)   This section does not have effect in respect of an offence alleged to have
been committed before the date on which it comes into force.”

Fines for environmental offences:

Some important judgments are now appearing as the new Law term gets into full swing.  Here is a case dealing with the level of fines to be imposed on large companies (Sellafield and Network rail) for environmental offences. 

The Chancery Division:

A lengthy report has been published dealing with Modernisation of the Chancery Division of the High Court. 

Legal Dials of Democracy:

Professor Gary Slapper posted this on Twitter (20th January).  He summarises, in seven short phrases, the importance of the law in a democracy.

1 comment:

  1. From the MOJ:

    "What is the PDS?

    The Public Defender Service (PDS) is the first salaried criminal provider in England and Wales."

    A Freudian slip, or they have deliberately omitted that it is a criminal LAW DEFENCE provider.....