The Sentencing Code 2020

The Sentencing Code 2020 The Sentencing Act 2020 or ‘the Sentencing Code’, as it is often referred to, came into force on 1 December 2020 and applies to all those convicted on or after this date. The Act aims to simplify, clarify and structure the complex sentencing process by helpfully consolidating the existing sentencing legislation.… Read more

Video Hearings and Disabled Defendants – A Review of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Interim Report

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a paper entitled ‘Inclusive Justice: a system designed for all’. Whilst the EHRC was already conducting an inquiry into the fair treatment of disabled people in the criminal justice system, their interim report presents a cautious set of recommendations in response to the increased pace of roll-out… Read more

Legal Advice Regarding Coronavirus Offences

The current Coronavirus pandemic has presented all of us with unprecedented challenges, especially whilst under lockdown. As a direct response, emergency legislation has been passed to ensure compliance with new laws and regulations now in force. The legislation passed comprises Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations… Read more

Impact of the Coronavirus on the Criminal Justice System

The COVID19 pandemic has meant that every aspect of society, including the Criminal Justice System, has had to adapt to the many new challenges that we face. With much criminal case work being conducted face to face; either at the police station, in the court room or attending upon clients in the office, social distancing… Read more

Autism and Vulnerable Client Specialist Advocacy

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which encompasses Asperger’s Syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). Autism is also a spectrum condition meaning that the level of impairment ranges from being highly ‘visible’ to the casual observer to unnoticeable. Whether autism is ‘visible’ or not, autism always affects the way in which a person relates to… Read more

The Importance of Receiving Good Legal Advice in the Police Station

  We were called to the police station recently to represent a client who had been arrested in relation to an allegation of murder. The police told us that during an argument, the suspect attacked the victim by placing both hands around his neck. During this tussle, the victim collapsed and died.   This incident… Read more

Better Case Management

New rules and guidance have been published (for both Magistrates and Crown Court cases) Everyone must adhere to these rules. The Transforming Summary Justice and Better Case Management initiatives are about making the Court process work better for all. This is done by reducing the number of hearings and making every hearing count, to ensure… Read more

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity (ND) refers to neurological variations in the way the human brain functions. Neurodivergent people may have received a medical diagnosis of autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Tourette Syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury or similar. A person who is not neurodivergent would be described as neurotypical (NT). Is neurodivergence a disability? People who are neurodivergent may… Read more

What happens if I am recalled to prison?

If you have been recalled to prison following a breach of your licence conditions, the Public Defender Service (PDS) may be able to help. The Public Protection Casework Section at the prison will issue a recall dossier within 24 hours. Contact us as soon as possible, as a written response is needed within 14 days… Read more

The Parole Board Rules 2019 – Challenging a Parole decision

There have been changes to the Parole process over recent months.  One of the most significant changes is that you can now challenge a Parole Board decision that was made on or after 29th July 2019. Who does it apply to and what are the criteria? The ability to challenge a Parole Board decision applies… Read more