Law Commission Consulting on “Sentencing Code”

The Law Commission is consulting upon the possibility of introducing a single sentencing statute, a “Sentencing Code”, to become the comprehensive source for all sentencing law

The aims of the Sentencing Code would be to:

Seek to prevent the imposition of unlawful sentences by providing a single reference point for the law of sentencing. This would simplify many of the present complex provisions and would also remove the necessity of referring to historic legislation;

Hopefully save a large amount of money (estimated to be up to £255m over ten years) by reducing the number of unnecessary appeals and reducing delays in sentencing, which case delays in the appeal courts;

Apply modern language so that it is easier to understand and can be seen to be relevant to contemporary society, thereby improving public confidence and allowing people who are not qualified lawyers to understand the process as it applies to sentencing;

Be able to dispense with a vast and complicated array of old law, which could lead to the revocation of many old statutes; and

Enable judges to use the modern sentencing powers for both new and historic cases. This would making cases simpler to deal with and ensure that justice is both done and can be seen to be done in a way that properly serves the interests of justice.

The proposed “Sentencing Code” would not:

Change the maximum sentences for criminal offences;

Result in any offender receiving a more severe penalty than that which they could have had imposed at the time of the commission of the offence they have committed;

Extend the minimum sentencing provisions or create new minimum sentences;

Remove or reduce the discretion of the Judiciary; or

Replace either the sentencing guidelines or the work or role of the Sentencing Council.

At the moment, sentencing can be an immensely complicated issue. It is widely recognised as an area that needs an urgent overhaul.

For further details, see the Law Commission website.

Immigration Enforcement Checking and Advice Service

The government has issued a new guide relating to the Immigration Enforcement Checking and Advice Service. This can be accessed on the government website (gov.uk).

The service includes following:

  1. the facility for instant immigration checks;
  2. either face-to-face or interactive training sessions, which may include guidance on how to prevent people working illegally, the step right to work checks, a right to work toolkit, what documents must be completed and supplied, what restrictions may apply and what civil and criminal sanctions can apply to employers.
  3. The provision of on-site immigration officials, who can visit a place of work, carry ourt checks, assist with processes and advise on appropriate procedures.

Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme

Few may have heard of the scheme known as the “Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme”, which provides for anybody at all, whether connected to a case or not, to apply to the Attorney General for a sentence imposed in England and Wales to be reviewed if they consider it to be unduly lenient.  It only needs one person to make the referral.

The scheme is limited to certain categories of offence, which include child cruelty and certain child sex offences, some serious drugs offences, serious fraud cases, offences that are racially aggravated or subject to religious aggravation, rape, robbery and murder.

The list of offences that can be referred is being increased to include an additional nineteen terror-related offences, such as failure to disclose information about a terrorist attack, taking part in weapons training and supporting extremist organisations.

Last year this provision led to 141 terms of imprisonment being increased, including reclassification of offences to  life sentences. The request has to be submitted to the Attorney General’s Office within 28 days of the sentence being imposed.

The information provided should be as detailed as possible after the hearing, including the identification of the person sentenced; the offence that they have been convicted of; and the date and venue of the sentencing hearing. Application can be made in writing, by email (uls.referrals@attorneygeneral.gsi.gov.uk), or the Office can be contacted by telephone (020 7271 2492).

 

Employment Tribunal Fees Scrapped

The Supreme Court has ruled that it is unlawful for applicants in Employment Tribunal proceedings and Employment Appeal Tribunal proceedings to have to pay fees to apply to the Tribunal.

It has also found it to be indirect discrimination for the different fee scales, which included higher fees being chargeable in discrimination cases. The majority of discrimination cases are brought by women. The fees ranged from £390 to £1200.

The introduction of the fees in 2013 brought about a massive cut in the number of cases being taken to the Employment Tribunal.

The government has confirmed that voluntary repayment of the fees, believed to amount to in the region of £32M, will be arranged. The requirement to pay fees will cease with immediate effect.

 

 

 

 

 

Taylors Solicitors

Taylors Solicitors is a solicitor’s firm established in Guildford in Surrey. The proprietor is Fiona Taylor, an experienced solicitor who has practised law in  Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire for thirty years.
The firm specialises in providing advice and assistance in criminal proceedings, including interviews at the police station and council offices, in the magistrates’ courts and in the Crown Court. The firm also undertakes will-writing and power of attorney work, advice and assistance in connection with firearms licensing cases, mediation services, and the witnessing of documents.
Fiona Taylor is an accredited mediator in civil and commercial proceedings. She is also a university lecturer in law relating to journalism, media and broadcast, including ethical codes, human rights, and data protection. She is a published author, and is presently undertaking doctoral research through the University of Portsmouth.
The firm’s contact details are: 1 Farnham Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4RG; Telephone 01483 900137; Emergency out of hours telephone number (24 hr): 07425 876500; E-mail address: Taylorslaw@iCloud.com. The firm’s opening hours are Mon – Fri 9 – 5.30 (closed between 1-2). Out of hours appointments can be made by arrangement.
The firm’s complaints solicitor is Fiona Taylor. The firm is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a processor of data; and with the SRA no. 635183. This site does not store or share personal details of viewers. like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.