Victim Support Criticises Code Changes

Victim Support has announced that about 700,000 victims of crime would probably find it more difficult to be helped because of the plans due to which the Code for Victims in England and Wales will be changed. The authorities will need a lot of legal documents, which will help them cope with the situation.

The opinion of the government is that most of the victims denied any kind of help so they offered to assist at least the “victims of the most serious crimes, vulnerable or intimidated victims and the most persistently targeted victims.” They claim that the percentage of people who nowadays deny any information, advice and support is about 80% so they prefer to take care at least for those who wanted it.

Such are the victims of rape and sexual offences as a whole domestic violence, human trafficking, terrorism and violent crimes such as wounding.

The current code provides only help to vulnerable and intimidated victims.

From a report of Victim Support it became evident that it had 1.1 million victims referred to it annually, and about 700,000 of them would not respond to the revised criteria.

Victim Support also stated that up to two-thirds of the victims needed help which could make them overcome their feelings of depression and cope with the problems at home or work.

Assistant chief executive Adam Pemberton said: “We have serious concerns that the government’s proposals to limit automatic referral to only some categories of victims, will make it much more difficult for some victims to get the help they need after suffering at the hands of criminals.”

In his words the best thing the government could do was to restore the principle of automatic referral.

A spokeswoman explained the purpose of the new code which is to tell victims what is going to happen since the moment they report a crime until the end of the case.

 

The Queen’s Speech 2013: Government And Law

In yesterday’s speech the Queen talked about her government’s plan for the coming year, mentioning some bills and draft bills which are still not entirely introduced.

The aim of these bills is to reduce criminal offenses, such as the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

The last one is considered to renew police powers and emphasize on the rights of victims, telling them the proper ways that their perpetrators will be punished.The same is the case with the employment law and the employment documents.

Some new offenses will also be included in the bill. Some of them are the offenses for forced marriage, ownership of dangerous dogs and illegal firearms. Another thing which will change is that after police receives complaints from five different households on anti-social behaviour, it will have to act immediately.

Another bill the Queen talked about was the Offender Rehabilitation Bill the aim of which is reducing incidents of re-offending as there will be a year-long period of probation for any offender who serves a custodial sentence of fewer than 12 months. Nowadays, offenders with the same sentence as the mentioned one do not receive probationary period. Those offenders whose sentences are now between 1-2 years receive probation period lasting about 6 months and for the future they will also receive 12 months.

The Defence Reform Bill also appeared in the speech of the Queen. It has to “improve the way this country procures defence equipment, as well as strengthening the Reserve Forces”.

According to the government the size of the UK’s reserve forces needs to be increased so that more money could be saved. You can save money by using legal document templates,too.

Talking about the pensions system her Majesty said that new laws will “create a simpler state pension system that encourages saving and provides more help to those who have spent years caring for children”.

 

 

 

The Queen’s Speech 2013: Immigration

In her latest speech today the Queen announced a new approach to immigration which is supposed to reduce the number of people coming to the UK. What was mentioned was that the government had prepared a variety of measures in order to crack down illegal immigration.

The monarch stated that due to the new measures the country would attract only people who would contribute, which sounds reasonable. The Legal Stop will continue to contribute to the businesses with high quality corporate documents and request a document service.

The future migrants will receive stricter limitations on using NHS and getting social benefits and housing.

Businesses found to employ illegal immigrants will be penalized financially. Landlords will also have to be more careful when taking immigrants in their properties. Illegal immigrants will not be able to receive driving licenses.

The mentioned and also the foreign criminals will have to be deported easier because of the new measures.

When talking to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We want this country to attract people who will add to our national life — but those who will not should be deterred.”

Many shared the opinion that today’s speech was focused on immigration mainly as an attempt to attract voters who supported the anti-immigration UK Independence Party in recent local elections.

Before the speech was announced the coalition was criticized as many people did not understand how in fact a number of the proposals would be put into practice, saying that the mentioned will probably not lead to a significant reduction in the amount of illegal immigrants removed from the country.

Limiting immigrants’ access to benefits and other of the “new” proposals were said to be similar to the rules which are already functioning.

 

UK has to leave EU ?

In the opinion of Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UK had to leave the European Union. According to him, the trials of David Cameron to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s relations with the EU were pointless. However, Downing Street announced that the prime minister would not give up his strategy. Neither will The Legal Stop stop providing high quality legal document templates and document drafting.

He has promised to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership if the Conservatives win the next general election.

Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, stated that the opinion of Lord Lawson was important for the EU debate.

The peer said he liked the EU as it was in 1975 but when asked for 2017 he said he would rather vote ‘out’.

In his view, the UK did not need to be on the single market in order to be able to export to the European Union.

“Over the past decade, UK exports to the EU have risen in cash terms by some 40%. Over the same period, exports to the EU from those outside it have risen by 75%”.

He added this view did not mean he was anti-European- he just felt that the interests of the UK were far different from those of the other eurozone members.

Last week the UK Independence Party made substantial gains saying they are pro the decision of the UK leaving the EU.

Conservatives were advised to bring forward the planned referendum but many of them believe people should be promised a referendum only if Conservatives win the next general election.

In the words of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the European Union gave the UK some kind of safety when having in mind gangs that cross borders.

However, many others also stated they did not agree with the approach of David Cameron and believed it would not be a successful one.

 

Overseas UK Pensions ‘Blocked for Spouses’

The government plans to stop giving the British state pension based solely on the work history of a spouse, to people living abroad.

According to the pensions Minister Steve Webb many of those have claimed a married person’s allowance had never in fact lived in the UK. The Legal Stop advises to enable yourself with a good retirement policy template, in order to arrange this matter.

This payment costs the UK about of £410m a year as those who receive it are about  220,000 residents living overseas.

This proposal will be announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday. People who currently get this pension will not be affected.

For the future the money pensioners will receive will be based on their personal contributions during their individual working life.

Nowadays spouses are allowed to claim a “married person’s allowance” of up to £66 per week based on their husband or wife’s history.

The number of people who live overseas but are married to British citizens rises all the time and these are usually the people who claim such pensions.

Mr Webb told the Daily Telegraph:

“Say you are an American man and you marry a British woman, you can claim, if she has a full record of contributions, a pension of £3,500 a year for your entire retirement having never paid a penny in National Insurance.”

In he words of Norman Cudmore, this decision of the government is not loyal as he had served in the RAF for 22 years and worked overseas for another 16 years. Now he lived in the Philippines with his Filipina wife hoping she would receive some money in case he passed away.

The people who nowadays pay into a second state pension will lose their money as it will be abolished.

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:

“From 2016 onwards the state pension will be based entirely on your individual record and there will be no inheritance of state pension rights,” he said.

 

 

Gifting Shares by way of Deed of Gift

A Deed of Gift is a formal legal document used to give a gift of property, money or shares/securities to another person. It transfers the money or ownership of shares/securities to another person without payment in return.

The person who creates and executes a Deed of Gift to transfer money, property or shares from himself to another person is called a Donor and the person receiving the gift is called the Donee.

Generally, most Deed of Gift transfers are carried out between family members as property transferred in this way is usually given out of the love and affection the giver has for the recipient.

Transferring shares, property or money by way of gift must be executed as a Deed because no consideration is given in return for the gift, thus the document has to be witnessed. Please note: the witnesses have to be disinterested parties. In other words they cannot have a stake in the transfer of the property. If a witness stands to benefit or take a loss because of the transfer of the property, then cannot be considered disinterested and cannot act as a witness.

A Deed of Gift – Shares template shall be used where the Donor wants to give shares or other securities in a company by way of gift to someone else.

This is an unconditional gift; the Donor gives the shares/securities absolutely and retains no right or interest in the gifted shares.

N.B. When gifting shares please make sure to check the Articles of Association of the relevant company in order to see if the company’s consent is required before the transfer of shares can be carried out. If the Articles of Association state that the negotiability of the shares is restricted by the prior written approval of the company then the Donor must obtain the approval of the company before the gift can be made.

Giving a gift to someone can have some Inheritance Tax implications. Generally, any gifts made to any individuals will be exempt from Inheritance Tax payments if the Donor lives for a total of seven years or more after having made the gift. These kinds of gifts are usually known as Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs).

However, please note that if the Donor gives away an asset but keeps an interest in it then the gift will not fall within the category of a potentially exempt transfer.

If the Donor dies within seven years of making a gift and the gift is valued at more than the Inheritance Tax threshold, Inheritance Tax will need to be paid on the value of the gift usually by the Donee or by the representatives of the estate.

Our templates are in Microsoft Word format, written in plain English easy to use and edit.

 

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We provide affordable and transparent diverse online legal services on a fixed fee basis.  Our services include: Fixed Fee Legal Advice from UK Solicitors and Barristers, Fixed Fee Document Drafting and Legal and Business Document Templates.

Pari Passu Clause in a Debt Instrument

Pari Passu is a Latin phrase which means ‘equal footstep’ or ‘equal footing’. In the legal sense, the term is used in the context of ‘proportionally; at an equal pace; without preference’.

In terms of debt instruments, Pari Passu can refer to loans, bonds and some types of securities which have an equal right of payment or level of seniority. In other words, the phrase is used to describe similar ranking of securities or lenders.

In a loan agreement the Pari Passu clause is a covenant that loans and securities ‘rank pari passu’ amid all the other unsecured debt of the borrower. The clause is used in the context of unsecured debt securities which are said to rank equally with each other or with other unsecured debts.

The Pari Passu clause requires the borrower to ensure that the lender’s rights under the loan agreement will, at all times, rank at least equally with all of the borrower’s other unsecured and unsubordinated obligations so that the lender’s share of the borrower’s assets in the event of its liquidation will be equal to that of all other unsecured and unsubordinated creditors.

Please note that the Pari Passu clause applies even in secured facilities notwithstanding that is refers to unsecured indebtedness. It is an assurance that the lender’s rights will, if the security fails, rank Pari Passu (equally) with the rights of the borrower’s unsecured creditors and the clause applies to existing as well as future obligations. Its relevance comes if there is a shortfall in the security on enforcement or if the security is for any reason defective.

Generally in a loan agreement a Pari Passu clause prevents the borrower from incurring obligations to other creditors that rank legally senior to the loan agreement containing the clause. Thus, the purpose of the Pari Passu clause is to ensure that the borrower does not have, nor will it subsequently create, a class of creditors whose claims against the borrower will rank legally senior to the indebtedness represented by the loan agreement.

The Pari Passu clause is a companion to the Negative Pledge clause. The Negative Pledge clause is an undertaking by the borrower not to create any security over its assets. Both clauses are fundamentally important covenants usually found in loan agreements. Whilst the Negative Pledge ensures that the lender’s right to repayment is not subordinated to secured creditors, a Pari Passu clause tries to ensure that the lender is not subordinated to unsecure creditors.

In summary, the Negative Pledge and the Pari Passu clause are very important clauses that should be included in every loan agreement in order to ensure that the loan is not subordinated to another lender on insolvency.

 

The Legal Stop is a straightforward online business using information technology for the public good. We aim to make the provision of legal services accessible and transparent for people and businesses alike.

We provide affordable and transparent diverse online legal services on a fixed fee basis.  Our services include: Fixed Fee Legal Advice from UK Solicitors and Barristers, Fixed Fee Document Drafting and Legal and Business Document Templates.

In our portfolio of templates we also provide debt instruments with a Pari Passu clause:

Overseas Territories Agree To Tax Transparency

The Treasury announced that some British colonies including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have stated and signed legal agreements to share tax information with the government for the future.

The aim of this move is to make people avoiding tax by hiding their money in offshore tax havens, stop doing this.Many legal and business documents have been signed, but finally the outcome is here.

Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man also made such deals not long ago.

The mentioned states will have to share bank account details, including names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, balances and payment details at the very moment they receive them.

The same information will also have to be shared with authorities in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Other territories which are about to become part of this scheme are Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Chancellor George Osborne has been working closely with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the issue so he commented: “This represents a significant step forward in tackling illicit finance and sets the global standard in the fight against tax evasion.

“I now hope others follow these governments’ lead and enter into similar commitments to this new level of transparency, removing the hiding places for those who seek to evade tax and hide their assets.”

According to Rosie Sharp of Global Witness, a group campaigning on the issue of offshore tax havens, the key for making that work was the fast exchange of information.

When UK starts sharing information with countries overseas and they respectively start sending information back things would work well and fast.

 

 

 

Dispute Over Burial Of Richard III To End Up In The High Court

Recently relatives of the former king Richard III took issue with plans to bury his remains so there is a big chance that the discovered bones may become the subject of a High Court battle.

These remains were found last year under a car park near Leicester Cathedral.

They were confirmed to be those of the king who was buried in 1485 at the church of the Greyfriars.

A team from the University of Leicester found the bones of Richard III. This team had a licence from the Ministry of Justice which gave them the right to dig and also granted them that they would have the right to say where he had to be buried. Their current plan is to rebury him at Leicester Cathedral. May be thei will need to request a document drafting service in order to comply with the legislation.

However, now a group of 15 king’s descendents called the Plantagenet Alliance, claims they should actually also have the final word about Richard’s burial saying his will would have been to be buried in York.

These threatened they would take legal action as their human rights were violated. Now they want a public and academic consultation so that the High Court determines where the body should be buried.

Vanessa Roe, one of the descendants said: “It is well documented throughout the centuries that he wanted his remains to be buried in York, amongst his family,”.

Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester, called the idea “plainly daft” and explained High Court would reject the proposal as the body had been buried some about 500 years ago in this cathedral and with the licence given from the Ministry of Justice it had to be re-interred there.

 

 

Psychometric Test For Jobseekers Slammed

The psychometric test which was until now considered as a helpful one for job seekers to identify their strengths was directly called pointless (the job application form is still valid, though. )

The government’s Behavioural Insights Team made a questionnaire called My Strengths questionnaire with a number of statements to which the participants have to answer to what degree they agree with them. Among the mentioned are “I am easily bored” and “I have not created anything of beauty in the last year”.

The number of questions is 48. After them the respondents are given a summary of their five key strengths based on their answers. Good examples of these keys are let’s say “curiosity” and “originality”.

Later on the job seekers are proposed to think how these strengths could help them when searching job and invent at least one new way to use them everyday. For example how to use business document templates in a different way everyday.

No matter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated that people’s attitude towards the test had been positive, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “Ministers seem to have got jobseekers wasting time on mumbo-jumbo personality tests when they should be looking for work.”

The Guardian came out with an article talking about a single mother who was threatened by DWP that if she did not complete the questionnaire her jobseeker’s allowance would have to be withdrawn.

However according to the opinion of many bloggers if they answered “very much like me” on every question the final results would be the same as when “very much unlike me” is chosen every time.

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office tried to defend the test, stating that it had been tested in academic environment in the US.