The Law Societies of Scotland, England and Wales and of Northern Ireland have issued a call for a full and open consultation on whether the UK should opt-out of over 130 EU criminal justice measures, including the European Arrest Warrant....
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Human Rights organisation Liberty is seeking to intervene in the High Court in proceedings against the Government and Director for Public Prosecutions for not allowing Babar Ahmad (accused of setting up terrorist fundraising websites and detained for eight years without charge) to be prosecuted in the UK....
Recent research has found that the majority of people support tagging criminals. Three quarters of the public (72%) support tagging prisoners out on parole until the end of their sentence, while nearly two thirds (64%) support the use of ankle tags for those serving a community sentence....
Cutting edge satellite technology is to be brought to Scotland to track offenders for the first time following the signing of a new contract, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has announced....
The Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have urged the United Nations to scrutinise the UK Government’s intention to replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights.
The Commissions’ are giving evidence with the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the UK’s human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review process, where the UK is examined every four years by the Human Rights Council.
The joint submission also calls on the UK government to:
Beltrami & Co. Ltd was announced as Criminal Law Firm of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland 2012....
The public are being asked for their views on the operation of important border security powers in a consultation launched by the home office....
Victims of crime could have the right to make a pre-recorded oral statement before sentencing to tell the court how a crime has affected them, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has said....
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has adopted his opinion on the amended Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'EURODAC' for the comparison of the fingerprints of asylum seekers....
As part of its legislative agenda for 2012-13, the Scottish Government has announced its intention to introduce a number of bills that will impact on the criminal justice system in Scotland....
Fines collection remains strong across Scotland and a report issued by the Scottish Court Service shows that 90% of the value of sheriff court fines imposed over a three year period from 2008 to 2011 has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.
Since 2008, more than 430,000 enforcement orders have been granted by the courts and more than 94,000 of these have been for deductions from benefits. Enforcement officers have also agreed revised terms in 140,000 accounts.
Online facilities now enable most fines to be paid round the clock. Just over 8000 transactions totalling £350,000 were made through this site during July, with online payments reaching £1.8 million during the 2011-12 financial year.
Most fines, including parking or police tickets, can now be paid online. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving licence with penalty points cannot be paid electronically including some police traffic tickets and penalties issued by the Safety Camera Partnerships for speeding or running a red light.
A man has been sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh to five years imprisonment after being found guilty of rape and theft occurring in March 2011 in Glasgow.
The case was prosecuted under the new Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, specifically the provisions which set out that if a victim removes consent during sexual intercourse, and the accused continues, then the crime is one of rape.
Advocate Depute Gillian Wade, Head of the National Sexual Crimes Unit and prosecutor in this case, said:
“The new Sexual Offences Act, which came into force in 2010, sets out clearly what constitutes consent, and Scotland’s expert prosecutors will continue to use this legislation to its full.”
The latest police campaign, coordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), to detect unlicensed and uninsured drivers has resulted in over 100 vehicles being seized.
The campaign, which ran for three days in August, detected 248 driving offences in total, with 179 relating to uninsured drivers and 69 to driving license offences.
Those caught included a 20-year-old man from Glasgow who was arrested and charged with a variety of offences, including theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, drink driving (he was almost three times the legal limit), disqualified driving and no insurance.
A man from South Lanarkshire was stopped by police, and subsequent police checks revealed he had a number of outstanding means warrants for Road Traffic offences (including driving without insurance or a licence) amounting to £970 worth of warrants.
The very existence of secret courts currently being legislated for by the Government may itself be a secret, human rights organisation Reprieve has claimed.
According to Reprieve, during debates in the Lords on the Justice and Security Bill, ministers confirmed that the fact the Government has applied for a Closed Material Procedure (CMP) – a process in which the public, press and the claimant is excluded from the court – could itself remain a secret.
CMPs would already allow the Government to present secret evidence to a judge without challenge from the other side in the case, in a process which is at odds with Britain's open and adversarial tradition of justice. This new development lays open the possibility that the very occurrence itself of a CMP would not be made public.
Reprieve's Executive Director, Clare Algar said: "This is a deeply disturbing development, reminiscent of super-injunctions in its excessive secrecy. Yet instead of merely covering up footballers' indiscretions, these courts could be used to sweep serious state human rights abuses – such as torture – under the carpet. If this Bill passes, it will badly damage centuries of British legal tradition and make it far harder for the citizen to hold the state to account."
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