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DNA and Biometric Evidence

The Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material, Fraser Sampson, has published his annual report for 2020.    What are biometrics? The report provides a working definition of biometrics that is based on the four features that researchers say are essential for a biometric personal identifier to be reliable: the element can be… Continue reading DNA and Biometric Evidence

Tony’s Law

Tony Hudgell was left severely disabled after he was abused by his birth parents who were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. His adoptive parents, Paula and Mark Hudgell, campaigned for longer sentences for these crimes and “Tony’s law” is now to be introduced.   The current law Under the current law, the maximum sentence for… Continue reading Tony’s Law

Driving Licences and Towing

The government had announced a plan to change the law relating to the towing of a trailer or caravan. At the moment, any driver with a driving licence awarded after 1997 needs to take a B+E car and trailer test before they are allowed to pull a heavy trailer behind a car. A change was… Continue reading Driving Licences and Towing

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Importation of Firearms – New Sentencing Guideline

The Sentencing Council has published a new sentencing guideline for the unlawful importation of firearms. The Council is an independent body, accountable to Parliament, responsible for developing sentencing guidelines for the use of the judiciary and criminal justice professionals. They monitor the use of the guidelines and assess and review decisions relating to sentencing. Sentencing… Continue reading Importation of Firearms – New Sentencing Guideline

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Terrorism sentences and the Fishmonger Hall attack

The government recently introduced a package of measures aimed at keeping the public safe from terrorists by imposing longer prison terms. The Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act came into force in April and introduced a new “serious terrorism sentence” and provides a minimum term of 14 years and monitoring for up to 25 years after release.… Continue reading Terrorism sentences and the Fishmonger Hall attack

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Drivers and Mobile Phones

An announcement from the Department for Transport says that the government will be strengthening road traffic laws to make it illegal to use a mobile phone in most circumstances while driving. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, made the announcement and said the government aimed to make it easier to prosecute those using their phone while… Continue reading Drivers and Mobile Phones

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Abuse of Process

It is commonly thought that a magistrates’ court does not have the power to resolve all issues that might lead to abuse of process being argued. In the recent case of Mansfield v Director of Public Prosecutions [2021] EWHC 2938 (Admin), the facts were as follows: The appellant challenged a decision refusing an application to… Continue reading Abuse of Process

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Listed Building Consent – Avoiding Court

There are approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England alone, with some 92% being Grade II. A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest in a national context. Listed buildings have extra legal protection within the planning system. Listing covers a whole building, including the interior, unless parts of it are… Continue reading Listed Building Consent – Avoiding Court

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