Author Archives: Rachel Quickenden

Victims’ Right to Review: how have things changed?

Last week, the Law section of The Times published an article reviewing the first half of the year since the CPS introduced Victims’ Right to Review. The new review scheme was introduced in June 2013, prompted largely by the case of R v Christopher Killick [2011] EWCA Crim 1608. Killick was convicted of a number […]

Criminal Record Checks – recent changes to the system

The CRB system has been subjected to a recent overhaul. On 1 March 2013, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) were replaced by a single body; the Disclosure & Barring Service. Going forward, the DBS will be the only organisation undertaking checks and barring decisions. On 17th June 2013, the Update Service was brought in – along with some potential issues.

Qatada extradition – Theresa May and new mutual legal assistance treaty with Jordan

And so the Qatada saga rumbles on.

Last week was a busy week for Theresa May. On Tuesday, the Government’s application to appeal the court’s refusal to deport Qatada was rejected. This followed the Judgment of 27 March 2013 in which the Court of Appeal held that there was a real possibility that evidence obtained through torture will be used against him; see Othman (aka Abu Qatada) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 277 (27 March 2013). With Jordan seeking Qatada’s extradition to face terrorism charges, and successive UK Governments correspondingly seeking his deportation since 2001, there is still little prospect of a conclusion in sight.

Post conviction in serious fraud cases

Last week 25 Bedford Row hosted a seminar focusing on ‘Post Conviction in Serious Fraud Cases’. Paul Hynes QC presented his thoughts on the latest developments in money laundering and the hard-hitting effect that the addition of such a charge has on sentencing, and then Geoffrey Payne considered the recent key cases in confiscation.

When is it in the public interest to prosecute a child?

This was the topic at a recent panel-led discussion, chaired by Tabitha Bushill of The Howard League for Penal Reform. The discussion was aimed to coincide with the consultation on the revised draft code for crown prosecutors. Panel members taking part in the debate were Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the DPP, Laura Janes of the Howard League for Penal Reform and Shauneen Lambe of Just for Kids Law.

Avoidance schemes – a morally taxing issue

Tax evasion is illegal. It is deliberately not paying the tax that is due. Tax avoidance, however controversial, is not illegal. It is paying the least amount of tax possible, whilst staying within the law. Average Joe, if offered a completely legal way of paying less tax, would likely jump at the chance. Many of us use ISAs to avoid paying tax on our savings. Moreover, ‘responsible tax planning’ is actively distinguished by the treasury and will not be affected by proposed new legislation. But where is the line to be drawn between this, and millionaires paying as little as 1% tax?

The Bribery Act 2010 – is the SFO turning from prosecutor to regulator?

The emerging views on where the Bribery Act is leading us were discussed this week at a seminar held by 5 St Andrew’s Hill. James Vine took attendees through the main sections of the Act and considerations such as facilitation payments and referral fees. Then Dominic Connolly considered potential penalties, ancillary orders, confiscation and civil recovery. Corporate hospitality has to date been the big concern – it sends companies flocking to compliance courses as they’re whipped up into a frenzy by the media. It is not, however, that relevant to most of the Act. In fact, James Vine commented that the Act ‘might have more teeth than some journalists and lawyers have suggested…’