Guest post by Hannah Edwards: The clock is ticking – bail breaches and Covid-19

I am pleased to host this guest post by Hannah Edwards, who is a second-six pupil practising at Drystone Chambers. _____________________________________________ In the chaos that Covid-19 has brought to our criminal justice system it is now, more than ever, important for practitioners to remember the fundamental principles when considering breaches of bail in the magistrates’ court….

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Lives are being put at risk by the intransigence of the government and the courts. Jury trials must be suspended immediately.

UPDATE: At 8am on Monday 23 March 2020, the Lord Chief Justice announced a suspension of new jury trials. The details are vague, and hint at a resumption “where specific safety arrangements have been put in place”, but for now, at least, it seems as if a level of sense has prevailed. Regrettably the announcement came far…

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Guest post: Open Letter to Leaders of the Criminal Justice System – Call for a National Protocol

I am delighted to host this guest post by Beheshteh Engineer, a third-six pupil. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of her chambers. Why is a functional Criminal Justice System important during a national crisis? During a short-term national crisis, the CJS must provide two key functions: To deal with…

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Televising sentencing remarks is a gimmick that has not been thought through

As somebody who spends more time than is healthy banging the drum for better public understanding of the justice system, today’s announcement from the Ministry of Justice that sentence hearings in the Crown Court will be televised should be right up my wheelhouse. The proposal sidesteps any worries about a rush to an Americanised celebrification…

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