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Legal Updates

24 August 2018

Court of Appeal ruling on fitness to plead

R v Cooley [2018] EWCA Crim 2648 A Court of Appeal judgment confirms the difficulty of getting a guilty plea set aside on the grounds that the appellant was unfit to plead. Details The appellant had, at age 19, committed various sexual offences against younger children. The offences generally involved the inappropriate touching of children the […]

22 August 2018

WhatsApp – a case on automatically downloaded images

R v Cyprian Okoro [2018] EWCA Crim 1929 The Court of Appeal considered whether images automatically downloaded from What’s App on to a mobile phone constituted ‘images within the accused’s custody or control so that he was capable of accessing them’. Details Mr Okoro was sent indecent images of children and extreme pornography via What’s […]

13 August 2018

Research on whether stop and search works

Does stop and search deter crime? Evidence from ten years of London-wide data, Matteo Tiratelli Paul Quinton and Ben Bradford, The British Journal of Criminology, Volume 58, Issue 5, 13 August 2018, Pages 1212–1231, 27 January 2018 In this article, ten years of police, crime and other data from London was used to investigate the potential effect […]

31 July 2018

Changes to PACE Codes

Updated PACE Codes of Practice Changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice came in to force on 31 July 2018. Details The following changes are of particular significance to children and young people:  ‘The rights, entitlements and safeguards that apply to the conduct and recording of interviews with suspects are not […]

29 July 2018

Report on multi-agency response to older children living with neglect

Growing up neglected: a multi-agency response to older children, HMI Probation, HMICFRS, Care Quality Commission and Ofsted, July 2018 A report considers learning from six inspections of local authority areas with a focus on the neglect of older children. The inspections reviewed practice in children’s social care, education, health services, the police, youth offending services […]

23 July 2018

Justice Select Committee report on disclosure in criminal cases

The Justice Select Committee has released a report on disclosure of evidence in criminal cases. Disclosure of unused material in criminal cases is essential to a defendant receiving a fair trial. The urgency to revisit disclosure processes became apparent after a notorious failure in a number of cases between December 2017 and spring 2018. The report examines the failures in disclosure, the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police, and provides a set of recommendations to ensure a more effective disclosure process.

18 July 2018

Arson – a case on sentencing children

R v JT [2018] EWCA Crim 1942 This judgment is a good example of the distinct and individualistic approach to be taken when sentencing children. Details The appellant was charged with, what on the face of it, was a serious matter of arson. The appellant had set fire to bus in a bus station, which […]

14 July 2018

Child and adolescent brain development, policy and the law – an article

Shauneen Lambe, strategic litigation consultant and co-founder of Just for Kids Law, has published an article for the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM) Chronicle.  The piece looks at scientific developments in child and adolescent brain development and how this information can be used by lawyers representing young clients.

10 July 2018

Youth court jurisdiction when a child turns 18

By virtue of section 24 Magistrates' Court Act 1980 somebody under the age of 18 who 'appears or is brought before a Magistrates' Court' in relation to an indictable offence shall be tried summarily.  This case analyses what 'appears or is brought before a Magistrates' Court' means and following the case of R v islington Juvenile Court ex parte Daley (1992) 75 Cr App R 280 confirms that it refers to the occasion on which the court makes its decision on mode of trial.