No guidance to be given on DPP discretion on assisted suicide

Thursday 30 October 2008 at 8:50 am | In News | Post Comment
Debbie Purdy
Debbie Purd, the multiple sclerosis sufferer, failed in High Court bid to know how far her husband Omar Puente can go in helping her to take her own life.

Her attempt to obtain advance guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions on how he would exercise his discretion in such cases was comprehensively dismissed yesterday, despite being argued by the leading human rights lawyer David Pannick QC.
The decision is to be appealed.

Full report, here.

Involuntary “sexsomnia” – sleep sex – can be a valid legal defence – in Canada

Saturday 18 October 2008 at 5:08 pm | In News | Post Comment

On 17 October 2009, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that involuntary “sexsomnia” – sleep sex – can be a valid legal defence. This is the first time a superior court, any where in the world has ruled on the defence, although many defendants have been acquitted at trial.

The incident took place in 2003, when the victim woke up at a late-night party and found the defendant on top of her.

The appeal court ordered a new trial only to decide whether the defendant, Mr. Luedecke should be acquitted outright, or be found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder.

News report here

Metric martyr trader convicted despite EU advice

Sunday 12 October 2008 at 11:37 am | In News | Post Comment

Magistrates convicted market trader Janet Devers, 64 on 8 October 2008 of eight offences under the Weights and Measures Act because she used imperial scales without an official stamp and sold produce by the bowl, despite the EU saying to do so should not be an offence.

She was ordered to pay almost £5,000 in costs and although being given a conditional discharge, now has a criminal record.

metric martyrs
In September 2007, Gunther Verheugen, European Commission vice president for enterprise and industry, said Brussels never intended to criminalise those who sold in pounds and ounces; this is the first UK prosecution since the EU ruling.

News report here

Balfour Beatty: bribery deal, is this the start of plea bargains?

Tuesday 7 October 2008 at 7:33 pm | In News | Post Comment
A deal that could lead to similar settlements follows Balfour Beatty’s agrement to admit “payment irregularities” and pay a £2.25m penalty in exchange for no criminal charges being brought against them.
The deal follows a Serious Fraud Squad investigation. The deal is “groundbreaking”, the suggestion is that it could open the way for other settlements by companies facing foreign corruption charges.
News report here

Sir Igor Judge Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Sunday 5 October 2008 at 9:17 pm | In News | 1 Comment
Sir Igor Judge has been sworn in as the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The 67-year-old will now be known as Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice.

The ceremony in London was attended by Justice Secretary Jack Straw in his role as Lord Chancellor, as well as senior judges and lawyers.

Lord Judge takes over from Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, who is moving to the House of Lords, the UK’s highest court.

Lord Judge was called to the Bar in 1963, becoming a QC in 1979. He was appointed a High Court judge in 1988 and became a Court of Appeal judge in 1996.

He later rose to be President of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court and Head of Criminal Justice.

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