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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Change to law means ‘no hiding place’ for abusers

Expert Witness picture of Sir Paul BeresfordExperts in the field of child and elder abuse have hailed new legislation which means people accused of seriously abusing children or vulnerable adults can no longer escape justice by staying silent or blaming someone else.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012 came into effect on 2 July and extends the offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult to causing or allowing serious physical harm. Those found guilty face up to 10 years in prison.

The passing of the legislation is unusual in that it began as a Private Member's Bill introduced by Sir Paul Beresford (pictured), Conservative MP for Mole Valley, which the Government backed to ensure it became law.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 17:15


Legal services to take the ‘Red Tape Challenge’

Your Expert Witness Challenge stickerThe Government's 'Red Tape Challenge' – the initiative aimed at simplifying regulation, reducing bureaucracy and remove unnecessary red tape for businesses has turned its sights towards the legal services sector, a sector many see as bound up with arcane regulation and downright obfuscation.

Launching the latest stage in the initiative, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly announced plans to scrutinise, simplify or scrap more than 150 regulations that affect legal services. Consumers and businesses have been invited to comment on which regulations should be scrapped, improved or kept. Regulations will be scrapped unless there is a solid justification for why they should stay.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:53


Lansley vetoes NHS risk publication

On 10 May the Department of Health issued a statement saying that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley "...has today made a statement to Parliament explaining his decision to veto the disclosure of the Transition Risk Register. This follows the announcement on Tuesday 8 May that Cabinet had agreed to his use of the veto in this case."

The statement went on to say: "The Secretary of State for Health sought the Cabinet's views on the exercise of the Ministerial Veto in relation to the Information Tribunal's ruling that the Transition Risk Register should be released. He did so as part of a full commitment to act in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which makes specific provision for the exercise of such a veto."

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:16


Met boss welcomes Winsor II

Your Expert Witness Bernard Hogan-HoweThe Winsor proposals are a step in the right direction for policing: that is the view of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The opinion was offered during an appearance before the Commons Home Affairs Committee, as part of a six-month review of progress.

However, as reported in the weekly newsletter of the Police Oracle, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe accepted that colleagues might not agree with his views on the report.

He said the Winsor proposals would reward deserving officers, with promotions being based on skill rather than longevity of service.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:19


Legal Aid Bill: Lords' third reading

Your Expert Witness gavelLegal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill enters third reading for final Lords scrutiny, amendments and potential votes today (Tuesday 27 March).

Members of the House have suggested a number of amendments to Schedule One which covers the provision of civil legal services for children under 18, vulnerable young people, victims of trafficking and those unlawfully taken from the UK.

What is third reading?
Third reading is the final chance for the Lords to debate and clarify the contents of the bill.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:20