Tuesday 28 December 2010 at 7:58 pm | In News | Post Comment
Dunlop killed Julie Hogg
On 13 December 2010, Mark Weston became the first person to be convicted of murder for which he had previously been found “not guilty” by a jury.

Weston murdered Vikki Thompson in 1995. At Weston’s first trial was in 1996, the jury found him not guilty. The police later discovered her blood on his boot (missed by the first forensic investigation) this was sufficiently compelling new evidence to allow him to be arrested in 2009. He was tried again and found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 13 years in custody.

William Dunlop however, was the first person to be convicted of murder after previously being “acquitted”. He murdered Julie Hogg in 1989. Because two juries failed to reach a verdict he was formally acquitted.

He later confessed to the crime, and was convicted. He confessed to murdering Julie Hogg, and to degradation of her body.  Her body was found under the bath 80 days after he had killed her.

Application of the provisions of Part 10 that provides an exception to the rule against double jeopard
William Dunlop pleads guilty in first double jeopardy case CPS statement

ISPs to block porn sites

Friday 24 December 2010 at 8:39 am | In News | Post Comment
All porn sites to be blocked
The minister for culture, communications and creative industries Ed Vaizey is to require Internet service providers (ISPs) to block porn sites, as a way of stopping children from stumbling across things parents don’t want them to see.

ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent.  Vaizey’s plans go further and will block lawful pornography.

Guardian news item here

Convicted wife killer Eddie Gilfoyle freed from prison

Friday 24 December 2010 at 8:15 am | In News | Post Comment

[Miscarriage of Justice –  role of Criminal Cases Review Commission]
D, Eddie Gilfoyle, 49, killed V, his pregnant wife Paula, 32 by persuading her to climb a ladder in their garage, with a noose around her neck and hang herself in 1992. D fooled V into writing a suicide note.

Held: D appealed unsuccessfully against conviction twice, he will be allowed a third appeal after release on licecnce on 22 December 2010.

: Gilfoyle has always insisted his wife took her own life.  The rope later went missing and was never tested for DNA.
In 2008, Alison Halford, former assistant chief constable of Merseyside Police at the time, said there had been a “huge miscarriage of justice”.
A prisoner can now be released without admitting the charge.
BBC News item here

Copy and paste will end ‘gold plating’

Saturday 18 December 2010 at 8:06 am | In News | Post Comment
EU Directives to be copied into UK legislation
Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable this week set out a series of new principles that the Government will use when introducing European measures into UK law. These will end so-called “gold-plating” so that British businesses are not put at a disadvantage relative to their European competitors.

The key to the new measures will be the principle of copying out the text of European directives directly into UK law. The direct ‘copy out’ principle will mean that British interpretations of European law are not unfairly restricting British companies.

Information frorm Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, here

Photographing nativity plays is okay

Wednesday 15 December 2010 at 7:27 am | In News | Post Comment
Parents can film nativity plays
Parents up and down the UK being told yet again that they are not allowed to take pictures of their children’s school nativity play for ‘data protection reasons’.

The Data Protection Act does not stop anyone from taking photographs of family, friends, their pet dog or anyone else for that matter as long as the photos are for their own use. This includes the use of photos on websites such as Facebook and Flickr.

As long as you do not attempt to publish the photos to a wider audience or sell them on for financial reasons you should normally be fine to ‘snap away’. However it is advisable to obtain the permission of the individuals included in your photos where possible.

The Information Commissioner’s guidelines are here

Paralegals; reform and regulation

Sunday 5 December 2010 at 9:08 am | In News | Post Comment
Parralegal advising a client
Paralegal advising a client
The Scottish Paralegal Association (SPA) launched its “registered paralegal” scheme in the summer, introducing across-the-board competencies and adherence to a code of conduct for paralegals working with solicitors.

This has quickened the pace of Alternative Business Structures (ABS), and justice minister Jonathan Djanogly has confirmed that the cabinet’s reducing regulation committee has given ABSs the green light.

An efficient business model would involve a small number of qualified lawyers, overseeing a large group of paralegals. This model has already taken hold in fields such as conveyancing and personal injury, where much of the work is routine and process-driven. Will-writers too, are in effect paralegals.

There is a significant imbalance between the number of law students and available training contracts and pupillages, so many are taking paralegal roles. The legal executive route is the only way to become a lawyer without a degree and in July the first-ever legal executive judge was appointed.

The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) already has a structure in place to address the paralegal question, but it is 50 years old and will have to follow with ABS initiatives.

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