Bashing burglars and the law of self-defence

The headlines and news bulletins over the past two days have focused on this story: (Your attention is respectfully drawn to the headline, rather than the libido-boosting diet to beat the menopause (no HRT required.)) I make clear at the outset that I offer no comment whatsoever on this particular case. While the editorial slants…

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Bad law reporting and a public dangerously disconnected from criminal justice

The criminal law has long had an image problem. Partly, the fault is internal: the ridiculous costume; the alienating hybrid of legalese and obsequious formality that renders court hearings nonsensical to anyone in the public gallery; the impenetrability and inaccessibility of updated statute and case law; the historic failure of those of us in the…

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9 reasons why this vile murderer should be given taxpayers’ cash to sue the government

Just a quick one. A number of people online were yesterday disturbed by this tweet from court reporting Twitter account @CourtNewsUK, relating to Michael Adebolajo, one of the two murderers of Drummer Lee Rigby: Senior judge says it will be a ‘great pity’ if Lee Rigby’s killer isn’t given taxpayers’ cash to help him sue…

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Harriet Harman’s proposal to keep sexual histories out of court will put innocent people in prison

I have today written a piece for iNews on Harriet Harman’s resurrected plans to ban all evidence of sexual history from the courtroom, and why this is quite simply one of the most dangerous and stupid ideas of recent times. Full piece is here: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/harriet-harmans-proposal-keep-sexual-histories-court-will-put-innocent-people-prison/

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An Oxford medical student stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife. So why is she not going to prison?

Remember all the fun we had earlier this year with the Cricket Bat Case? You know the one – where the defendant, Mustafa Bashir, assaulted his wife with a cricket bat, forced her to drink bleach and was given a suspended sentence, partially because the judge took account of the defendant having been offered a…

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Myth-busting the “Tory election fraud” – A 10-point guide

1. So what’s all this about a Tory election fraud? The Crown Prosecution Service today announced that, following a police investigation into allegations relating to Conservative Party candidates’ expenditure during the 2015 General Election campaign, no charges will be brought. Fourteen police forces submitted files of evidence for the CPS to consider, said to show that candidates…

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UKIP’s “Integration Agenda” is a masterclass in legal ignorance and shameless racism

Some political proposals are so self-evidently preposterous that to analyse them is to risk conferring dignity on the undignifiable. However, UKIP’s “Integration Agenda”, a rat’s nest of racialised assumptions masquerading as putative legal reform, trespasses egregiously onto the criminal law. Which, as any fule should know, is this blog’s turf. And on this turf, no…

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Convicting the dead shows that we misunderstand the purpose of our criminal courts

Monday’s column for the i newspaper, for those interested, can be found here: “Convicting the dead shows that we misunderstand the purpose of our criminal courts” https://inews.co.uk/opinion/convicting-dead-shows-misunderstand-purpose-criminal-courts/ And while we’re at it, a couple of other recent pieces for iNews that I forgot to link to: “Both sides are wrong in the Marine A controversy” https://inews.co.uk/opinion/sides-wrong-marine-controversy/  “At…

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Post-script: Mustafa Bashir, a non-existent cricket career and victim vulnerability

As predicted in my last post, Mustafa Bashir, the wife-beating amateur cricketer who received a suspended sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment after hitting his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach, was today recalled to court and re-sentenced under the “slip rule” (section 155 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000)….

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