So far 2015 has seen a number of changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) including provision for a new offence of ‘assisting an organised crime group’. Restraint orders are now available pre or post-charge where there are ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ that an alleged offender has benefitted from his or her criminal…

According to statistics released last week prison sentences given to sex offenders are at an all time high. The average sentence given to a sex offender has increased to more than 5 years in prison (an increase overall of 4.5 months in the past year). These latest statistics also show that in all offence categories,…

It’s a contentious subject and one that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. The governments continuing cuts to legal aid are affecting some of the most vulnerable members of society. In a move supported by campaigners against legal aid cuts the court of appeal is allowing a case to go ahead that…

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA), which has approximately 4,000 members in England and Wales, voted narrowly in favour of refusing to work on new cases paid at lower legal aid rates that came into effect on 1 July. About 55% voted in favour and 45% were against. Criminal barristers will also adopt a policy of…

A McKenzie friend assists a litigant in person in a court of law in England and Wales. A McKenzie does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Legal aid cuts have meant that a growing…

As of Wednesday 1st of July solicitors in Liverpool are refusing to take on ALL new legal aid work. This is following cuts of 8.75% made to the fees paid by legal solicitors coming into affect on the same date. A similar situation arose in May featuring the largest law firm in Northern Ireland Kevin…

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