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The Woolcock Case: Prison for Failing to Pay Council Tax?

Council tax serves a vital function in requiring citizens to assist in funding necessary local services, such as schools and social care. However, should non-payment of council tax - a civil debt - result in imprisonment?

12:00, 4th June 2019
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Book Review: ‘Doing Justice’ by Preet Bharara

Preet Bharara, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, published his first book, 'Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law'. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the law, politics, and anything in between.

12:00, 9th April 2019
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Hooding the Horrible? Spit Hoods, Reasonable Force and Human Rights

It was recently announced that spit hoods - meshed sacks placed over the heads of people that have spat at police officers - will be issued to frontline police officers. However, these hoods have important human rights implications and potentially deadly consequences.

12:00, 26th March 2019
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Assaults on Emergency Workers: Protecting the Protectors or an Empty Promise?

Parliament recently passed the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 in an attempt to 'protect the protectors' by ensuring those that assault emergency workers receive double sentences. However, does this actually make any difference or is it simply a hollow policy?

12:00, 29th January 2019
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Self-Defence: More Complicated Than It Seems?

The complexity surrounding the concept of ‘self-defence’ is often underestimated. The expectation that a defendant will be acquitted of a crime because they acted to protect themselves or someone else paints a deceptively simplistic picture of what is, in reality, a difficult defence.

12:00, 14th December 2018
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Grenfell Tower Fire: A Turning Point for Corporate Manslaughter?

The Grenfell tower fire in June 2017 proved to be the largest loss of life in London since World War Two. Due to its seriousness, the tragedy could set yet another milestone in the shape of sculpting the law surrounding the recently created 'corporate manslaughter' offence.

12:00, 20th November 2018
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Book Review: 'Under the Wig' by William Clegg QC

'Under the Wig' is an autobiography by one of England's top criminal barristers. William Clegg QC - head of 2 Bedford Row - writes about his life and some of his most significant cases. The book is entertaining and engaging, but its greatest strength is its accessibility.

12:00, 2nd October 2018
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R v MK: Clarifying the Defence in Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act

Under Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, victims of trafficking have a defence when charged with certain criminal offences. In a recent decision the Court of Appeal was asked to decide on whom the burden of proof lies; in a welcome decision it restored the orthodoxy.

12:00, 7th September 2018
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Tommy Robinson's Conviction and Appeal: Considering Contempt of Court

The recent Tommy Robinson saga - which saw his conviction, imprisonment and (temporary) release all occur in a matter of weeks - captured global media attention. The elusive legal concept of contempt of court underpinned the whole story. How exactly does it work?

19:00, 5th August 2018
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The Abortion Act 1967: Out of Date and Out of Time?

The Abortion Act 1967 was, when first adopted, a pioneering piece of legislation. However, in light of medical and societal developments, it has become increasingly anachronistic. Lessons should be taken from Victoria in Australia to ensure the law places power with women, where it should be.

12:00, 31st July 2018
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The Fight for LGBT Rights in the Commonwealth Pt I: Tracing Historical Origins

One of the major legal legacies of the British Empire is the criminalisation of homosexuality, which still exists across most Commonwealth states. In the first of a two-part series, Alasdair Maher tracks the historical origins of anti-LGBT laws and how this has influenced their continued existence.

12:00, 22nd June 2018
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Consenting to Serious Violence in R v BM: An Update to R v Brown?

The infamous case of R v Brown [1994] set down the rule that a person cannot generally consent to serious harm. Though controversial, this appears settled law. However, it was law that was tested in a recent case before the Court of Appeal involving a body modification artist... and a snake tongue.

12:00, 8th May 2018
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Offensive Jokes Becoming Criminal? Count Dankula's Conviction

The recent conviction of Mark Meechan, otherwise known as Count Dankula, for uploading a controversial video on YouTube sets a worrying precedent for freedom of expression. Of most concern is the fact that context is given only a secondary role when considering whether a joke is grossly offensive.

12:00, 20th April 2018
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Affray Outside Off-Stump: Explaining Ben Stokes’ Charges

England cricketer Ben Stokes was charged earlier this week with the offence of affray following an incident that occurred outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017. This article explains what exactly he is being charged with, what the prosecution must prove and what defences might be used.

12:00, 16th March 2018
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Section Pick June

The Woolcock Case: Prison for Failing to Pay Council Tax?

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