Victims To Have Right To Challenge CPS Decisions To Drop Cases

For the future when the Crown Prosecution Service decides not to pursue a case, crime victims in England and Wales would have the possibility to challenge the decisions.

When the victim disagrees with the fact that CPS had decided either not to bring charges against someone or to stop a prosecution they will have the right to ask for a review. Legal documents for this might be required.

Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, commented that most of the final decisions were correct but in spite of this victims needed to be allowed to challenge those otherwise people would stop trusting the criminal justice system.

“The criminal justice system historically treated victims as bystanders and accordingly gave them little say in their cases,” he said.

Such changes started being commented after a case in 2011 when a cerebral palsy was convicted of assaulting sexually two other men in the same condition.

One of his victims then complained to the CPS and this is why charges were pressed to him.

Keir Starmer shared he did not expect a flood of reviews but in fact he believed there would be more than the 1,600 complaints received by the CPS.

“There’s no right to charge. Nobody has that, nor should they,” he stated. “If the right decision was made then it has to be upheld.”

The following reconsideration of the case will not be reviewed by the same lawyer but it will be held in the same region where the first decision was taken.

Decisions made before the policy being in place will not be reviewed.

Reviews will also not be available for such cases which were dismissed by the police rather than the CPS.



A Twitter “ban” for MP Sarah Wollaston

Sarah Wollaston was one of the Conservative MP’s warned to stop posting critical comments for the party leadership on Twitter but she refused to do it.

She did not agree with the remark of chief Lynton Crosby in whose statement they had to decide if they were “commentators or participants”.

In this respect Mrs Wollaston told the BBC News website.

“I think it’s important that if you are a backbench MP you’re there to be a critical friend and to scrutinise government policy”.

She called herself a “Cameron Loyalist” in whose opinion talk of leadership challenges should end. Sarah added that she had the right to comment both policy and party leadership when she felt she had to.

The press recently quoted Wollaston’s post on Tweeter saying: “Inner circle still look far too posh, male and white and Cameron is running out of time to fix it”.

She mentioned she just wanted to find out what was the public view over the cabinet.

Mrs. Wollaston was not the only MP criticizing the party leadership on Twitter. Other names that became popular because of this scandal are Michael Fabricant and Peter Bone with their accusations of sending “mixed messages” over immigration and committing 0.7% of state spending to foreign aid was wrong.

For the meeting at Tuesday Tory MPs were urged to focus on selling the party’s message and stop talking about the problems that social media cause to them. The other thing they had to stress on was the fact that on the next elections people would be able to choose between having Mr Cameron or Ed Miliband in Downing Street.

Labour Vice Chairman Michael Dugher said: “Things are so bad for Cameron that he is reduced to gagging his own backbench MPs on Twitter because he is fearful they will tell it how it is.”

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Children in Danger Because of Neglecting

The NSPCC announced that there are many cases in which children die or there are long-term damages on their health due to child neglect. This is why it may be assumed as seriously as physical or sexual abuse.

The charity gave money for a study investigating different stories from the past decade connected to children’s deaths. It is looking for a “strategic approach” to solve the problem.

The University of East Anglia published a report analyzing 645 cases in England from 2005 until 2011- cases in which teenagers were either seriously injured or died due to some kind of abuse.

175 of these cases involved children in risk; 101 of which are now part of the protection register as victims of physical or sexual abuse.

Ruth Gardner, from the NSPCC, said: “This study is the first time anyone has looked behind the stark figures to try to understand the complex dangers of neglect.

We now have clear evidence that neglect can lead to catastrophic harm as well as corrosive long-term damage to children’s well-being.”

The cases of Peter Connelly and Khyra Ishaq are examples of cases in which the authorities were criticised for not acting on concerns.

Khyra’s mother and her partner kept her and their other children locked out of their kitchen. Due to this way of life, Khyra starved to death no matter that her neighbours and school tried to do something in order to change the things.

According to NSPCC, expert social workers have to advise children when they feel neglected.

Another thing it calls for is better training so that public could recognize troubled families.

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Confession of an Ex-police Officer on selling information

The newspaper Sun published detailed information about the mother of the footballer John Terry which information was provided by a former Surrey police officer who admitted having sold it.

The 40 years old Tierney pleaded guilty on the two offenses of misconduct.

Three other people pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office. These were prison worker Richard Trunkfield, another ex-policeman and a public official.

The decision of the court was that Tierney and Trunkfield were involved into corrupt payments so they were charged.

The place where the operation is being run was alongside Scotland Yard’s Operation Weeting.

Alan Tierney admitted he had sold information not only about Terry’s mother and the fact she had been cautioned for shoplifting but also Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and the case when he was cautioned for assault after an incident that happened to the girlfriend he then used to be with.

In his confessions could be heard the periods between 26 March and 3 April 2009, and between 2-7 December 2009 as periods of misconduct.

The former police officer was released on bail and his final sentence will be passed on 27 March. He was warned by Mr. Justice Fulford that “all options remain open”.

Mr. Tierney appears to be the second convicted under Operation Elveden as the first one was

ex-counter-terrorism detective April Casburn.

A former prison operational support officer at HMP Woodhill admitted he was paid £3,350 to give information about a high-profile prisoner.

He pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office but he will be sentenced at a later date.

There are legal reasons which do not allow the spread of information on the names of the second police officer and the public official.

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Twitter Users Sued by Lord McAlpine

Lord McAlpine was wrongly accused to be a pedophile by some Twitter users so now he has decided to drop defamation claims against them.

He announced he would not pursue action against the people who have less than 500 followers but he would ask them to make donations for the BBC’s Children In Need

It all started from the Newsnight programme so the wish of Lord Mc Alpine is that his lawyers focus on Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow and her untrue words.

Mrs. Bercow’s lawyers said that the claim made by Lord McAline is limited to £50,000.

In a statement, Lord McAlpine said: “I have dropped all claims against those tweeters with less than 500 followers, in return for a very modest donation to BBC Children In Need, which funds 2,600 projects supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

“I have requested that my lawyers, RMPI LLP, focus on the action against Sally Bercow and that damages arising from this are donated to a charity of her choice.”

A number of organizations faced legal action on the matter but BBC and ITV were the very first who had to pay.

After the libel settlement was agreed Lord McAlpine got £185,000 from the BBC.

The topic of the Newsnight broadcast on 2 November was on allegations of child abuse at care homes in north Wales.

The name of Lord McAlpine was nowhere to be heard in this broadcast but later he was incorrectly linked with such cases on the Internet.

In a week when everybody found out that Lord McAlpine was not guilty on the things he used to be accused of, Newsnight carried a full, on-air apology.

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Claims Manager Fraud – Jail Sentence

It was recently announced that a claims managers has been sentenced to jail for 21 months. The claims manager has been reported to have made fraudulence claims for insurance.

Asif Mallu, the manager of a claims company, is said to have organized about 10 claims during the months between May and December in the year of 2005. Mr. Mallu has made more than £12,000 according to some sources. This money had come from referral fees of solicitors, courtesy car hire and also the necessary recovery of vehicles. Mr. Mallu was the claims manager for  24/7 Direct Claims Ltd in Bolton. He was also reported to be involved in a crime network, which also included Mohammed Patel, who in 2009 was convicted of deliberately causing about 90 collisions.

It was reported that Mr. patel earned his cash by driving cars that belong to people, who willingly chose to give up their key as well as insurance details. Based on the crime networking scheme, claimants would afterwards demand a compensation for both personal injuries and legal fees. All these expenses are as well covered by the insurers of the other party.

However, the well planned scam was exposed in 2005. The scam was reported by workers of a nearby office at the roundabout in Cheadle. What they noticed was that accidents happened regularly there, always at the same spot. Additionally, workers also noted that the collisions usually happened at a low speed and more often than not involved one and the same driver.

One of the insurance companies affected by the fraud, decided to examine the case. The insurance company presented its finding to Greater Manchester Police and an investigation began, i.e. Operation Contact. The chief inspector of the Greater Manchester Police said that Mr. Mallu’s claims company had been registered according to the terms of the Ministry of Justice. He also said that the company had a visible business in Bolton and that it served as ‘front for fraud’. The chief inspector additionally added that the scam had caused the victims to feel not only cheated, but also violated. The insurance companies involved had also reported that because of the scam, their premiums had increased. That is why, the idea of this sort of crime to be treated as victimless is not justified. As the director of law enforcement at a Bolton-based law firm, Mark Beales, said, the main person to be held responsible is Mr. Mallu as it is his company that allowed so many fraudulent claims to take place. Mr. Mallu has pleaded guilty of charges and as a result was obliged to pay a confiscation of the amount of £7,250 within 28 days.

After the Operation Contract was supported by the Infurance Fraud Bureau, it was reported that more than 50 people were convicted as a result.

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Frankie Boyle Sues The Mirror

The Mirror should be more careful when calling someone “a racist”. The famous UK comedian Frankie Boyle takes a legal action against them, because in July 20122, the newspaper published an articles about him. starting with the following statement: “RACIST comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers”.

Mr. Boyle claims the articles seriously “libelled” him and attempted to damage his reputation. It is expected that the case, taking place in the High Court would last for a week.

Boyle’s lawyer David Sherborne said Boyle accepted criticism but could not tolerate to be labeled a racist, that`s why it is completely right to take legal actions in order to protect himself.”He realises that that goes with the territory, so to speak.”But accusing him of being a racist is an entirely different matter.”

In the court, some of the most controversial jokes told by Boyle were played, together with clips from his show Tramadol Nights. The jokes played included the Afganistan war and an impersonation of a newsreader reporting on casualties, suggesting British lives are more valuable than those of Pakistanis.

In order to protect his client, Boyle`s lawyer said that the jokes should be undestood in the context they are made hoped to demonstrate that the offensive language used is merely a device to mock the views of people he detests. “It is clear when you watch this that he [Boyle] is saying this is society’s view, not his. He makes it clear by using a different voice. What he’s doing is to mock the view of people who believe that.”

The Mirror says they stand behind the truth and fair comment and defend their article, claiming that some of the jokes featured on Tramadol Nights exploit various negative stereotypes “gratuitously for laughs”.

Together with racism accusations, Boyle also mentioned that because of this article, he was forced to leave the show Mock the Week.

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Expert Witnesses No Longer on Both Sides

It was recently announced by the former head of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) that the expert witnesses, who appear for both sides regarding a clinical negligence, will become the norm. Steve Walker retired in August as chief executive of the NHSLA after 16 years of service. He stated that after the Jackson reforms come into place next April, solicitors will be forced to find new ways in order to lower costs. Unlike EU practices, parties in the UK are allowed to bring their own experts so that they can give evidence on litigation proceeding issues that are complicated. During the Expert Witness Institute annual conference, Walker gave a speech regarding new upcoming joint instructions. He stated that even though this might be regarded as a bold step, it is worth enforcing if it leads to the truth. Currently, there are few best experts and they cannot spread themselves on too many cases. Fact is that at the moment, there is a race on getting the most critical experts on each and every case. The practice at the moment is not efficient in any way and actions will be taken for this to change.

Members of the institute should be careful not to gain a reputation for giving favorable evidence to one side. Former chief executive of NHSLA stated that should experts decide to give favorable evidence, the judge will know and this will inevitably lead to their lost. Walker urged all experts to be honest and impartial. However, he also shared that he has experienced ‘many examples of shortcomings’. This was particularly the case in the witness profession was a full-time career for the expert.

Steve Walker also admitted that more often than not corporate defendants fail to scrutinize the reports of the experts in much detail and claims are usually seen as a ‘process’. According to him, more and more cases will be dealt with through an automatic portal arrangement. Such type of cases will also include clinical negligence claims.

High Court judge Mr Justice Ramsey urged solicitors to work on and improve their understanding of how issues such as clinical negligence work in the era of ‘proportionate and predetermined costs’. He stated that ‘it is not longer appropriate to say to a claimant there is an open chequebook on expert evidence’. According to Mr Ramsey, solicitors seek expert advice when they have no idea on how to deal with a given issue. He state, however, that instead of hiring experts to investigate, the solicitors should themselves understand and then explain to clients the costs regarding a certain position. It will be no longer acceptable to be negligent in such situations or give favorable evidence to one side or another. It was reported that experts who appear on both sides regarding a clinical negligence will become the norm. It will be solicitors’ responsibility to stay informed and to inform experts as well as too look for ways in order to lower costs.

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Intellectual Property Claims – Quick, Easy, Cheap

Intellectual property cases will now be assigned to smaller claims court, which will make it easier, cheaper and quicker for individuals and small businesses to deal with such kind of issues.

Intellectual property claims of less than £5,000 in value will be settles by a new framework by small claims court and it is expected that in future this limit will be increased to £10,000

In addition, claimants will have the opportunity to attend “informal hearings”, with no need of legal representation. This change is “expected to reduce significantly the cost of pursuing IP infringement cases”.says IPO (Intellectual Property Office)

The umbrella term of intellectual property (IP) protects creative products across a wide range of sectors and is underpinned by inherent rights such as copyright and those that require registration, such as patents and trademarks.

From now on people working in the creative business niche, such as designers, photographers etc, will be able to protect their rights and claim intellectual property offences easier and cheaper, as they will save lots of legal expenses.

All intellectual property claims made under the small claims track will be heard at the Patents County Court (PCC). Currently, there is only one court in London, however it will not be necessary for people living outside London to travel for the hearings, as this can be done over the phone. Together with the hearing and the case documents, a decision can be made.

“A smarter and cheaper process is good for business and helping businesses make the most of their intellectual property is good for the economy.Lower legal costs will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their creative ideas where they had previously struggled to access justice in what could often be an expensive progress.”says Business Minister, Michael Fallon.

It follows the introduction of a cap of £500,000 on payouts for damages in intellectual property cases and a maximum of £50,000 towards costs. At the High Court, however, where the most complex cases will still be heard, payouts remain unlimited.

Be careful with your own work, in order to prevent people who stole from you to benefit from your efforts. In every business there are hidden dangers, but one of the possible protections is the Non-disclosure agreement.