As a result of a combination of financial restraints and over-demand on the public purse, in recent years there is a marked trend and heightened consciousness towards private prosecutions being brought by members of the public.
In September 2017 I wrote an article ‘Revolutionary Changes to Police Bail’ (see Janes Solicitors website News and Opinion section).
At the time I stated that although revolutionary, the changes brought about by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 had received scant media or public attention. This would appear to still be very much the case and there has been very little judicial oversight of the fundamental workings of the new bail scheme. There also appears to have been a dearth of academic interest in it. This is all surprising bearing in mind the impact of the new scheme on the thousands of people who have been suspected of offences but find themselves in limbo between their arrest or voluntary attendance at the police station (or other agency) and the often lengthy and protracted decision of whether the prosecution charge or decide to take no further action.
Applications for Committal for contempt of court in civil proceedings are a niche and distinctive area of law. They are of a quasi-criminal nature, but exist within the framework of Civil Procedure, thus combining two separate fields of law that tend not to interact with each other. However, at Janes Solicitors, our criminal solicitors, armed with their extensive knowledge and experience of criminal law, work hand-in-hand with our civil practitioners in order to ensure that we are uniquely placed to provide a full a full service in this area, including obtaining the appropriate legal aid that parties may be entitled to.
In the face of the growing COVID-19 crisis, the government followed the example of other nations and introduced unprecedented restrictions on businesses and individual liberties. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force at 1:00 p.m. on 26th March 2020. They remain in force until they are revoked by the Government, with a review to take place every 21 days. The first such review took place on 16 April 2020 and a decision was taken to extend the powers until 7 May 2020. The time that they remain in force is called ‘the emergency period’.
During a police investigation, once a suspect has been identified and interviewed (whether under arrest or not), the police must decide what to do with him or her next. If the police are not yet able to charge the suspect they must release him or her. Typically there will be further enquiries to be made, or the file will be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision. Both of these take time.
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