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Expert Witness Legal News

Queen Mary University of London to offer free legal advice for victims of revenge porn

Victims of revenge porn can apply for free legal advice through a new service offered by the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). As part of the service, victims will receive legal advice from a team of trained student advisors – under the supervision of experienced, qualified lawyers - at QMUL’s Legal Advice Centre.

According to Julie Pinborough, Director of QMUL’s Legal Advice Centre, revenge porn is a “disturbing and rapidly growing phenomenon”.

“While the alleged number of offences - 149 - is relatively small, we know that many victims never come forward. Stigma is definitely an issue; people often feel embarrassed, afraid and powerless.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:10


Expert researchers sought to undertake review of Youth Courts advocacy

Picture of Balham Youth Court for Your Expert Witness storyThe Bar Standards Board and Ilex Professional Standards are seeking expressions of interest from research organisations with the expertise to undertake an independent review of advocacy within the Youth Courts in England and Wales.

The aim of the review is to identify and examine the skills, knowledge, and attributes needed for youth court advocates to work effectively. The outcome will be an evidence base from which the two regulators can then identify any existing risks within youth court advocacy, and establish what, if any, regulatory action needs to be taken.

The review follows the publication of the final report of the Independent Parliamentarians’ Inquiry into the Operation and Effectiveness of the Youth Court, chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC.

The inquiry made a number of key recommendations, including one that “…all legal practitioners representing children at the police station and practising in youth proceedings be accredited to do so”.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:26


Committee launches inquiry into manorial rights

Picture of medieval Lord of the Manor for Your Expert Witness storyThe House of Commons Justice Committee has begun an inquiry into manorial rights following a spate of applications to register remaining rights prior to the deadline of 13 October 2013.

According to the background to the inquiry, the Land Registry describes manorial rights as rights which were retained by lords of the manor when land became freehold. They can include rights to mines and some minerals, sporting rights such as hunting, shooting and fishing, and rights to hold fairs and markets.

Those rights were specifically preserved in 1926 when other aspects of the manorial system were abolished; however, following changes introduced by the Land Registration Act 2002 they lost their overriding status in relation to properties if they were not protected by being registered before last October’s deadline.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 10:51


Reporting restrictions should be available online, says Law Commission

Picture of Blind Justice on Old Bailey for Your Expert witness storyThe Law Commission is recommending that a new online service should be established to help journalists and publishers reporting criminal trials discover whether reporting restrictions are in force and, if so, why. The service would be open to all publishers, from large media organisations to individual bloggers.

To protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial, the judge has the power to order that specific information is not disclosed to the jury. In exceptional circumstances, to prevent the jury from discovering that information in the media, the judge can impose reporting restrictions, postponing publication until the end of the trial and sometimes longer.

At the moment, there is no formal system for notifying potential publishers that a restriction is in force or why, but publishers who breach a restriction risk being prosecuted for contempt of court.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:18


Scottish Justice Committee expresses doubts on removal of need for corroboration

Picture of Scottish Parliament Justice Committee for Your Expert Witness storyThe Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has said it is not convinced that the case has been made to abolish the requirement for corroboration in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill. On balance it has recommended that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice considers removing the provisions, according to its Stage 1 report, published on 6 February. The Justice Committee has noted that the Cabinet Secretary has undertaken to instigate a review to consider additional safeguards, but has stated that it requires more detailed information.

In a statement issued on 6 February, the Committee says: “The Justice Committee agreed that, if the general requirement for the removal of corroboration continues to be considered, this should only happen after an independent review of what other reforms may be needed to ensure that the criminal justice system as a whole contains appropriate checks and balances.”

Last Updated on Monday, 17 March 2014 09:06