Voting Rights For The UK Prisoners

Should prisoners be given the right to vote is the new question to be answered by the UK government. Back in 2005 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that banning the prisoners from their voting rights was illegal, that`s why now the UK government is negotiating a solution suitable for both sides.

There are three options for the coalition – to comply with the ruling, to delay the decision or face a sustainable fine. It is thought that the government is now working on a draft bill, which will give voting rights to a limited number of prisoners. In addition, the decision is expected to be delayed until the end of November (which is the official deadline), as the police commissioner elections are due on 17th November.

At 2005, when this ruling has been announced by the ECHR, David Cameron said that it would make him “sick” to give prisoners any voting right. He also mentioned that in his opinion, this issue should be “a matter for Parliament”, but not  a foreign court”.

According to unnamed sources for Downing Street, the Prime Minister still believed that ” when people go to prison, they lose their right to vote”.

According to Tory backbencher Dominic Raab there is a minimal chance of fines, in case the UK does not comply with the ruling and no chance for the UK to be ejected from the EU Council

On the contrary according to Attorney General Dominic Grieve the UK must comply with the ECHR ruling or ” risk making itself a pariah state ”

However a government source told the BBC “It is completely untrue. It’s not happening. It’s complete nonsense.”

Which version is the correct one, will soon become clear, currently in the UK, only prisoners on remand are given voting rights.

At this stage we cannot discuss the prisoner rights to vote, however we believe that everyone must have the right to access our free legal documents.


Tax evasion – Highest Among Barristers

London barristers are said to be the high risk sector targeted for tax evasion.

HM Revenue & Customs recently launched a restriction on tax evasion for the lawyers in London which is anticipated to produce £3m. According to the HMRC, it is the Capital’s legal profession that is considered to be one of the trade sectors exposed to high risk and as such it will be scrutinized by tax inspectors. The 300 highest risk cases will be chosen and tax specialists will visit the firms to analyze and check the records as well as to conduct any further investigations if necessary.  Other sectors that will be examined by the HMRC include the grocery and retail (South and North Wales), hair and beauty salons (North-East), restaurants (South-East), and the motor trade (Scotland). According to the HMRC, the expected amount to be recovered from ‘tax dodgers’ could hit

The actions are result of the government £917m spending on tackling the tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. The government has also set a target to raise additional £7bn each year by 2014/15. Since 2011, the HMRC has officially set about 30 task teams which firstly focused on the restaurant trade. According to the exchequer secretary David Gauke, the government will no longer tolerate tax evasion and will make sure that everyone who breaks the rules will take responsibility. He also added that it is not fare to the hard-working people to industriously pay their taxes and others to avoid paying what they have to.

As announced by a Law Society spokesman, the HMRC team forces will collect the due taxes not only in the legal sector but also elsewhere. The investigations will be conducted in confidence until they are resolved and complete.

It was announced that the legal profession is the one at high risk, but Michael Todd QC said that the Bar Council does not give any clear reason so as to why the London barristers have been target as failing to meet their tax obligations. According to him, barristers are the one who bring billions in revenue for the UK and keep the country’s renowned reputation for excellent justice system. Todd’s predecessor Peter Lodder QC had invited Gauke last December in order to discuss why barristers need to pay taxes on work that is done and yet no fees were paid by the government. Todd announced that Gauke has declined the offer to meet, and only yesterday it became apparent that HMRC had special concerns about the lawyer’s tax affairs. He also said that HMRC should use ‘the channels of communication with the relevant professional bodies, which have always been open.’


The Legal Ombudsman Publishes a List of Decisions

An online list of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman, related to complaints from consumers has been published today. It includes 770 lawyers and law firms from England and Wales.

This report contains information, about the legal services` providers, which have been a subject of complaints submitted to the ombudsman and faced a formal decision. This report will be published every three months, with the first part including information from April to July. Now this list contains about 920 decisions for cases resolved in the stated period.

The list includes facts such as: the number of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman, regarding each of the firms, the area of law, the date, the nature of remedy awarded and of course, the reason for the complaint.

Adam Sampson-chief legal ombudsman said: What we are publishing is factual data, not opinion, and what we are trying to do with this policy is give objective information about the way the market is operating.’

This move aims to provide transparency on how the system works, to protect the consumer interests and to appeal for higher standards within the legal services area, including the online legal document templates. This report is a reflexion of a careful, detailed review of the profession and its duties, as well as other ombudsman schemes. The next list of decisions is due to be published I November.

Elizabeth France – chair of the Office for Legal Complaints said: ‘We hope this information will help manage consumer expectations of what the Legal Ombudsman can offer and encourage improvement in complaint-handling by lawyers.’

The list of decisions related to complaints from lawyers and law firms was planned to be released in august, however due to some administrative issues, it has been postponed. There were claims that the delay was caused by solicitors` complaints, however the ombudsman denied this.  In addition, he also rejected the statement that “publishing complaints constituted a “naming and shaming” policy”.

Last November, the idea for publishing such a list has been announced and soon after a decision was made. The Law Society opposed it by saying this will not be relevant to the public, but will harm companies with high work volumes, instead.