Law enforcement is set for the latest shake up with the creation of the new National Crime Agency (NCA) which will be operational by the end of this year. The Crime and Courts Act 2013, which outlines the proposals for a new law enforcement agency, received royal assent on 25 April 2013.
On 5 February 2013, the Home Secretary Theresa May tabled government amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill, introducing the changes to extradition law she announced last October when blocking Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the United States – the introduction of a “forum bar” and the transfer of the Home Secretary’s discretion to block extradition on the grounds of human rights to the courts.
The case of an undercover police officer who is reported to have infiltrated environmental protest groups has been back in the news, as a group of women who had been in sexual relationships with undercover officers appeared in the High Court. These women are bringing claims against the police for the emotional trauma they say has been caused by the deception underlying these relationships. The women have chosen to air their grievances through the civil courts, but the facts also raise an interesting question of criminal law: in being deceived about the true identity of the police officers, were these women truly consenting to sexual relations with them? Put more simply, might these officers be guilty of committing sexual offences?
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.
Charles Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, was found guilty of 11 charges including murder, rape, sexual slavery and enforced amputations, unanimously, by a UN-backed tribunal, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in The Hague on 26 April 2012. The man who “aided and abetted” war crimes in Sierra Leone heard the judgment with hands clasped in front of him, blinking as the list of his criminal responsibility was read out. Mr Taylor is the first ex-head of state to be prosecuted by an international criminal court since Admiral Karl Donitz, the man who assumed control of Nazi Germany following Hitler’s suicide, in 1946.
The market abuse case brought by the FSA against David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital in which a financial penalty in excess of £7 million was announced last week has laid down a prominent marker for all those operating in the UK financial markets, wherever in the world they may be based. Local laws and the interpretation of those laws by overseas regulators may be very different to the regulatory approach in the UK so foreign market participants need to take particular heed of this case.