Juries – doubts as to whether some CPS lawyers and police officers should sit

Sunday 21 October 2007 at 8:16 pm | In News | Post Comment

R v Abdroikof [2007] HL

Where either a police officer or a solicitor employed by the Crown Prosecution Service had sat on a jury the question to be asked was whether, on the particular facts of each of the cases, a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that the jury that included a serving police officer or a lawyer who worked for the Crown Prosecution Service was biased, having regard to the fact that Parliament had declared that in England and Wales, by enacting the Criminal Justice Act 2003, that such persons were eligible to sit on juries, envisaging that any objection to their sitting would be the subject of judicial decision. Nevertheless, it had to be doubted whether Parliament had contemplated that employed Crown prosecutors would sit as jurors in prosecutions brought by their own authority.

Manslaughter – never from the supply of drugs

Sunday 21 October 2007 at 8:14 pm | In News | Post Comment
R v Kennedy [2007] HL
Where the deceased was a fully informed and responsible adult, it was never appropriate to find guilty of manslaughter a person who had been involved in the supply to the deceased of a Class A controlled drug, which had then been freely and voluntarily self-administered by the deceased, and the administration of the drug had caused his death.

The start of the end of the House of Lords (Appellate Committee)

Wednesday 10 October 2007 at 9:11 pm | In News | Post Comment

New appointments of judges to the House of Lords will be subject to same selection procedure as other judges.

The new appointments process for Justices of the new UK Supreme Court will take immediate effect, when a vacancy

Supreme Court building
Supreme Court building
arises, on a voluntary basis. All new judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation will not be members of the House of Lords; they will become Justices of the Supreme Court.

Section 8 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 makes provision for a new appointments process.

A judge newly appointed to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords will spend the majority of their career in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will be operational in October 2009.

The new arrangements aim to increase public confidence in the appointments process by creating greater transparency of appointments and improving competition for these positions.

A selection commission will be composed of the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court and members of the appointment bodies for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If you are guilty you are guilty, if you are innocent you are guilty under proposed law

Sunday 7 October 2007 at 3:34 pm | In News | Post Comment
Ministers are insisting a new law is needed to stop criminals “getting away” with their crimes.

Senior appeal court judges, the council of circuit judges, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) the Law Society, the Criminal Bar Association and the campaigning groups Justice and Liberty are all vehemently opposed to the new law. The opposition of these groups has been kept secret by the government.

The measures are part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration bill due for a second reading next week. If it becomes law, judges would have to uphold a conviction if they thought the defendant was guilty despite flaws in the trial or pre-trial process.

See article in The Guardian

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