There are currently several consultations of interest to our members and to which the association will be responding. Please cut and paste the links provided to the consultations you are interested in:-
Sentencing Council Consultation on Guidelines for Bladed Article and Offensive Weapon Offences
– this is likely to lead to a harsher sentencing regime for knife offences. Closes on 6th January 2017.
MOJ Consultation on the Closure of Hammersmith and Camberwell Green Magistrates Courts – a controversial proposal not withstanding high court room utilisation stats. This is likely to result in considerable inconvenience to all court users as the proposals include residents of Peckham travelling to Croydon and those in Fulham using Hendon MC. We suggest responses include anecdotal evidence where possible.. Closes on 27th October.
MOJ Consultation on Transforming our Justice System – part of the government’s much trumpeted plans to harness digital technology at all levels of the justice system. The part which concerns us is the introduction of on line guilty pleas. This closes on 27th October.
Law Commission Consultation on Reforming Misconduct in Public Office – the next stage of the project sees two models put forward for creating a statutory offence with a further option of abolition of the old offence without any replacement. This consultation runs until 28th November. http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/misconduct-in-public-office/#misconduct-in-public-office
Law Commission 13th Programme of Law Reform – we have until 31st October to make proposals to be included in the next programme. Among ideas under consideration by the association are a possible statute of limitation on prosecuting either way offences and making pre-charge anonymity of suspects a statutory requirement.
SRA Consultation on a New Route to Qualification : The SQE – Readers may recall a previous consultation by the SRA to which the LCCSA responded. They have now published the detail of the shape of the SQE and responses are required by 9th January 2017. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/consultations/solicitors-qualifying-examination.page
CPS Consultation on Crimes against Disability, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Racially and Religiously Aggravated Offences – this pertains to new public policy statements on how the CPS will approach these offences. Responses can be made to all or just one of the categories of crime and the deadline is 9th January 2017. http://www.cps.gov.uk/consultations/hate_crime_consultation_2016_index.html
MOJ Consultation on Modernising Judicial Terms and Conditions – closing on the 10th November, this includes proposals to create fixed term tenure of position for new fee paid judges with possibility of existing office holders being switched at a later date. At present, the LCCSA is not minded to respond to this consultation but it is likely to be of considerable interest to our members who hold judicial office or who intend to seek judicial office.
We are also about to submit a response to the Home Office consultation on Reporting and Acting on Child Abuse and Neglect. The proposals include the creation of a new imprisonable criminal offence for professionals such as social workers and probation officers who fail to report or act on such concerns.
If you wish to be involved in any of these consultation then please contact either Leigh Webber or myself.
LCCSA Law Reform Officer