Access to Justice for Vulnerable People – The Advocate’s Gateway Second International Conference

The Advocate’s Gateway Second International Conference

Date: 2 and 3 June 2017

Venue: The Law Society, Chancery Lane, London.

Organizers: The Advocate’s Gateway and funded by The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA)

Topic: Access to Justice for Vulnerable People

This conference will explore the access to justice through the combination and expansion of interdisciplinary research and practitioner knowledge to encourage innovation and best practice. The aim is to support an international network to enhance access to justice and the removal of barriers for effective participation of vulnerable people in the justice system.

The conference programme will include keynote addresses, plenary sessions, panel and breakout sessions on the following issues or themes[1]:

·         International perspectives of vulnerability

·         International Innovations and legal rights and responsibilities of the parties

·         Women in Criminal Justice system

·         Young defendants

·         Autism and Communication

·         Comparative Responses to vulnerability

·         Special measures and the role of intermediaries

·         Developments in criminal justice proceedings


The Website link is

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Criminal Law News – Weekly Round Up 11th May 2017


Our Weekly round up of developments in Criminal law and cases in the UK and abroad.

Denied legal aid widow of renowned academic resorts to Crowd funding for Inquest. 

The widow of an acclaimed researcher and senior lecturer who was stabbed to death in a random attack by a schizophrenic student, and was denied legal aid to be represented at his inquest. The Guardian reports that the widow had made a plea for donations on  to raise funds for legal representation.

The widow of an acclaimed researcher and senior lecturer who was stabbed to death in a random attack by a schizophrenic student, was denied legal aid to be represented at his inquest. The Guardian reported that the widow had made a plea for donations on and to raise money to be legally represented at the inquest. 

Campaign group Inquest said: “No bereaved family should be left in a position where they have to fundraise to pay for legal representation at an article 2 inquest, where public authorities engage lawyers to defend or justify their own conduct. This is a point of principle and there needs to be equality of arms.”


Families of victims of Birmingham pub bombings granted legal aid

BBC News reports that the Legal Aid Agency on May 4, 2017 had confirmed its decision to remove legal hurdles preventing a Northern Ireland criminal and human rights law firm from applying for funding for the families of 21 victims of Birmingham pub bombings in 1974. 

Read more on this link:


Increase legal aid funding for Forensic Science: official forensic regulator 

Dr. Gillian Tully, official forensic science regulator speaking at the Forensics Europe Expo in London, has warned that legal aid funding urgently had to be increased in criminal trials. It was reported by The Guardian, the conference highlighted the use of digital forensics for effectively handling the closure of government-run Forensic Science Service and the growth of private sector forensics firms.  The changing dynamics of crime scene investigations due to technological advances has resulted in a drift of experts to the private sector due to better pay, which has inevitably affected the investigation of complex crime. 




Bertling unit and five others charged in oil bribery case

Criminal proceedings have been commenced into allegations that a North Sea oil exploration project  by the UK Division of the German logistics and freight company Bertling. It is reported that five individuals have been charged with  conspiracy of paying and accepting bribes. Reuters reported that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has pursued criminal proceedings against the Bertling division for the second time. The SFO is the specialist prosecution agency tasked with the investigation and prosecution of  offence of bribery and corruption and business crime. Those charged have been will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 19 and face charges concerning conspiracy to pay or accept bribes.

Read more on Reuters


KPMG audits to be probed by FRC after Rolls-Royce bribery settlement

Following the high profile prosecution of Rolls-Royce for bribery and “kick backs” by Serious Fraud Office resulting in a  Deferred Prosecution Agreement, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has opened an inquiry into KPMG’s audit of the financial statements of Rolls- Royce for 2010,2011 and 2013. The Express reported that the engine maker had settled the corruption claims at £671 million in January 2017.

The link is provided here-



Recognition of ECJ court rulings post-Brexit: UK’s Senior EU official 

Post-Brexit Britain might be required to recognise and give effect to rulings of the European Court of Justice to maintain security cooperation in countering terrorism and organized crime, has warned Sir Julian King who is the European commissioner for Security.  The Guardian reported that the EU has framed a tough set of negotiating guidelines, and would not discuss trade matters or security cooperation until settlement of Britain’s divorce bill, citizens’ rights and the border on the island of Ireland.
Read in detail on the link given:


Research found May to be the worst month for drink driving  

Somersetlive cites  research carried out by insurance firm Admiral by means of a Freedom of Information request to 45 police forces across the UK disclosed an unreported trend, identifying May as the month where a higher percentage of drivers test positive for drink driving compared and not the festive season.

Find the details of the research on this link:

Read the full survey by admiral here: 

Find more information on Admiral’s website:


Stakeholders to review proposed taxi changes in Hyndburn

Hyndburn council has invited the taxi trade and the public to review its  taxi licensing policy for taxis and private hire vehicles. Lancashire Telegraph reported that the consultation will be open until 31 May 2017 and the proposed changes will help detect and prevent crime.

Read the article on

The issues concerning the licensing consultation can be found here:



Samsung’s new app may avert the trend of texting whilst driving 

The launch of Samsung’s new mobile app, In-Traffic Reply service later in May 2017, purports to aims at reducing the use of phone while driving by allowing users to answer text messages received without touching the phone. The Express reported that it might lessen the number of car accidents and will ensure better enforcement of the stringent driving laws introduced in March 2017.

To find out about the penalty for use of mobile phone and more, read the article on

To know more about the app, read on


Saudi Arabia accused of human rights violations by UN Rapporteur 

A UN Special Rapporteur  published his report after a five-day visit to Riyadh, which accused Saudi Arabia of using anti-terror laws to curb freedom of expression and failing to conduct independent inquiries into its Yemen bombing campaign.  The Guardian reports Special Rapporteur  Ben Emmerson QC  praised the country’s rehabilitation work and the standard of its prisons, but he condemned the arbitrary use of state power.


We will be reporting more on this story in our international criminal law blog.

We have tried to ensure the accuracy of news round up, which we base on coverage  of news available in the public domain. Please note this news summary  is prepared for information purposes and should not be construed as specific legal advice. The reader is advised to obtain legal advice in relation to the matters covered in our weekly news. We can be contacted on if you need advice on matters relating to criminal law. 



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English-Polish Criminal & Family Law Seminar – Bar Council of England and Wales

International Criminal Law

Current bilateral issues in Family & Criminal Law

The Bar Council of England and Wales, the Polish Bar Foundation and the Warsaw Bar will jointly host a family and criminal law seminar in Warsaw, Poland on 15 May 2017. The event is being organised at a time of increased cross-border legal issues the seminar provides an opportunity for the members of the legal fraternity of England and Wales and Poland to discuss cross-jurisdictional issues.

Date- 15 May 2017

Time- 09:00 – 17:30

Topics –  Family Law (cross-border divorces and child-related matters) and

                 Criminal Law (European Arrest Warrant, Mutual Assistance and asset recovery)

Read more about the seminar on  the UK Bar Council Website-,-training-and-other-events/2017/may/uk-polish-seminar/

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Criminal Law News Weekly Round Up – 30th April 2017


Our weekly roundup on Criminal law developments in UK and International Criminal Law.

Report cybercrime: Top City of London police chief Ian Dyson advises businesses 

The City A.M reported the The Commissioner of the City of London  has urged London businesses to not leave incidents of cyber crime and business crime unreported due to reputational concerns. It reported the Police Chief discusses what prevents London businesses from reporting crime.

Click on the link to read the complete article:


Dangerous to opt out of human rights agreements in future wars 

The Guardian reported a justice centric view on the UK Government plans to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights, which would only potentially benefit the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from any review by the courts. It has prompted a ‘Joint Committee On Human Rights’ (JCHR) and has representations from MoD supporting it and the Law Society and Liberty opposing the move.

Read about what both sides have to say on


Dutch arms trafficker to Liberia convicted for war crimes 

The conviction of Guus Kouwenhoven by a Dutch appeal court, for him acting as an accessory to war crimes and arms trafficking during the Liberian civil war, under international criminal law, which were used to commit mass atrocities under the Charles Taylor regime.


A link to the full article is given



UN files on Holocaust will ‘rewrite history’  

Documentary evidence of the UN War Crimes Commission relating to the Nazi Holocaust will be made public for the first time by the Wiener Library in London. The Guardian reported that the focus on the timing of the release of records was the overriding public interest in doing so and the significance of this step in countering Holocaust denial.


Read further on


Despite decline, death penalties in China exceed world

An Amnesty International Report cited by the Daily Mail reveals that the number of state sponsored executions in China outnumber the executions around the world. The report stated that China considers its use of death penalty a state secret and thus, there is no accurate data on the number of executions in criminal cases.

Find a link to the full article here


Case against former PM over Iraq war should be blocked: UK attorney general 


The Guardian reported the intervention of the Attorney General in a private criminal prosecution case against the former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.  The Attorney General seeks to prevent any such prosecution of former Prime Minister and his aides as a matter of principle and on the ground that UK does not recognise the crime of aggression.


Delve into it for further details  on The Guardian


Zambia may abandon The ICC fear Rights groups 

Yahoo News reports the fear among the rights group over Zambia abandoning International Criminal Court (ICC) membership persists. The report also points out that the claims of Zambia to leave ICC will impact the African continent threatening the rights of victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


Read full article on


Assets in UK will be seized under proposed amendment

The Times has reported that the Magnitsky amendment introduced to counter Russian bribery and corruption would positively become a law by the next month. It reported that it aims to increase the possibilities of asset seizure in case of any human rights abuses by Russians in the Syrian conflict.


Read to know the impacts of the amendment on


Despite legal aid concerns, Judge jails woman for begging

A District Judge at the Worcester County Court jailed a woman for begging as reported in The Guardian. The report highlights the inability of a vulnerable woman to secure legal aid due to the complexity and reforms to legal aid eligibility.

Find the full article on The Guardian

Read the full Judgement here:  Festival Housing Limited v Baker, [2017] EW Misc 4 (CC). (



Restriction on legal aid for prisoners ruled unlawful

The restrictions imposed on legal aid for prisoners by the Government in 2013 were ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal. The Guardian reported that the Howard League welcomed the decision as it would provide prisoners with better access to legal assistance.   The Ministry of Justice are yet to decide whether they will appeal against the Order.


Full Article on



New TfL enforcement plan exposes Uber to £2.4M licence fee 

Ars Technica UK reported that Transport for London (TfL) is planning to introduce changes to its Private Hire Operator License fees so as to represent the regulatory and enforcement costs and increase the Taxi licence fee considerably for larger operators such as Uber.


To know more, click on the link to read the full article


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Criminal Bar Association Event – on Expert Evidence 20th May 2017


The Criminal Bar Association, the body that represents Criminal Barristers in England and Wales is holding an event on the 20th May 2017 on Expert Evidence in the Criminal Proceedings.

The Keynote Speech is by The Hon. Mr. Justice Nicol. The topics include:

The Admissibility of Expert Evidence

Challenging Expert Evidence

CCTV/ Digital Imaging Experts

Mobile Phone/ Computer forensics


Forensic Pathology

DNA / Forensic Biology

Forensic Accounting

Forensic Psychiatry

Continue reading

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2015 Barristers appointed Queen’s Counsel List

Congratulations to those barristers at the pinnacle of their careers who have been appointed Queen’s Counsel (taken Silk).

The full list can also be accessed on PDF

The List of Queen’s Counsel appointed January 2015

(In order of seniority)

Mr Eyre Stephen John Arthur
Mr Nolan Michael Alfred Anthony
Miss Smith Marion Helen
Mr Hines James Philip
Mr Rouse Justin Clive Douglas
Mr Waddington James Charles
Ms Weereratne Rufina Aswini
Mr Hames Christopher William
Miss Shekerdemian Marcia Anna-Marie
Mr Turner Peter John
Mr Bagchi Andrew Kumar
Mr Henley Christopher Michael
Ms Mann Jonathan Simon
Mr Ageros James Hugh Paul
Miss Cheetham Julia Ann
Mr Fitzpatrick Francis Paul
Mr Peretz George Michael John
Mr Rutherford Martin
Mr Willems Marc Paul Bernard Albert
Mr Sheppard Audley William
Mr Tughan John Charles Ronald
Miss Agnew Christine
Mr Audland William Grant
Miss Bignell Janet Susan
Mr Choudhury Akhlaq Ur-Rahman
Mr Gledhill Andreas
Mr Passmore John William
Mr Trafford Mark Russell
Mr Blaker Gary Mark
Mr Burns Andrew Philip
Miss Darlow Annabel Charlotte
Mr Fraser-Urquhart Andrew
Mr Garrido Damian Robin Leon
Mrs Hardy Amanda Jane
Miss Jones Rhiannon
Mr Kane Adam Vincent
Mr Lee Jonathan James Wilton
Miss Lemon Jane Katherine
Miss O’Sullivan Zoe Siobhan
Ms Pople Alison RuthMiss Roberts Lisa
Mr Sheehan Malcolm Peter
Mr Stonor Nicholas William
Mr Allen Thomas Michael Chard
Dr Basu Dijendra Bhushan
Ms Crasnow Rachel
Mr Fisher Richard Alan
Miss Khalique Nageena
Mr Nourse Edmund Alexander Martin
Miss Stanley Clare Fiona Louise
Mr Williams Benjamin James
Mr Nesbitt Simon John
Ms Miles Wendy Jane
Mr Bartfeld Jason Maurice
Mr Cuddigan Hugo Jonathan Patrick
Mr Hext Neil Fraser
Mr House James Michael
Mrs Karmy-Jones Riel Meredith
Mr Kimbell John Ashley
Mr Margolin Daniel George
Ms Rafferty Angela Margaret Mary
Mr Smith Jamie Charles
Dr Trowell Stephen Mark
Mr Warshaw Justin Alexander Edward
Mr Ayres Andrew John William
Mr Hudson Anthony Sean
Mr Thompson Steven Lim
Miss Wiley Francesca
Miss Brunner Catherine Jane
Mr Craig David
Mr George Andrew James
Mr Haque Muhammed Luthful
Ms Hill Eleanor Mary Henrietta
Mr Maugham Jolyon Toby Dennis
Mr Phillpot Hereward Lindon
Mr Pilling Benjamin
Mr Pillow Nathan Charles
Mr Scorey David William John
Mr Birt Simon Christopher
Mr Diwan Ricky
Mr Green Samuel
Mr Kolinsky Daniel Joseph
Mr Sachdeva Vikram
Mr Pickford Meredith William
Mr Raphael Thomas GeoffreyMiss Fot
trell Deirdre
Professor Douglas Zachary
Ms Grief Alison Sarah
Mr Howe Darren Francis
Miss Henson Christine Ruth
Mr Bowers Rupert John
Mr O’Connor Andrew McDougal
Mr Sprange Thomas Kimpton

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New measures to curb motoring insurance fraud

The Daily Mail reports that according to the data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), about 16 per cent of the total 35 million motorists in the UK do not disclose their driving record accurately. The fear of refusal of the insurance policy or the policy being made too expensive pushes motorists into lying about the disqualifications and serial speeding convictions.

Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveal that about 180,675 attempts were made to get the insurance cover at a cheaper rate which amounts to almost 3,500 every week. Such applications amount to fraud. Other fraudulent actions which figure increasingly are drivers who alter their driving license to remove driving convictions.

Through the partnership between the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), a new licence checking system has been established known as ‘My Licence’. They will provide a data sharing service to the motor insurance companies to ensure accurate data is present with the insurance company through a secure MIB hub and the use of a driving licence number according to a spokesman for ABI. This crackdown has led to the insurers raising money which could be utilised in reducing the cost of premiums of the honest motorists by £50. However insurers do not feel this system is full proof. It will not help in identifying those million more drivers do not regard the ‘little white lies’ for reducing the cost of their premium a motoring offence.

According to ABI policy director and Deputy Director General Huw Evans, this system is one of the most recent attempts in a series of legal reforms aimed to curb the fraudulent insurance claims and practices.

Transport minister Claire Perry, feels that ‘My Licence’ is both a good initiative for the motorists and the motor insurance industry. This service would allow insurers to value the premium rates more accurately and also would help in reducing the premiums for honest motorists. According to Janet Connor managing director of AA Insurance, though insurers are now better at detecting fraud still the number of attempts to carry out deceitful claims and applications shows no sign of reducing. Julie Daniels, head of motor Insurance at asserts that with accurate information about the motorists being provided it will benefit the consumers at large by reducing the premium rates. However the change can be materialised only if the ‘My licence’ initiative is adopted throughout the industry.


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Device that alerts motorists of nearby police under scrutiny

The Daily Telegraph reports that the “Target Blu Eye” gadget which alerts drivers of nearby police cars is under scrutiny for fear the device being exploited by speeding motorists, drivers committing motoring offences, drink driving and criminals. At a cost of £999, this device apparently picks up on police encoded radio signals and is capable of detecting emergency vehicles more than half a mile away. According to the UK distributor CBS Automotive, this device will help in preventing accidents as drivers will be alerted when the police vehicles are nearby. However Government officials are examining if this device is unlawful and whether it breaches the Wireless Telegraphy Act. Ian Johnston, Gwent Police Crime Commissioner, strongly disapproves the idea of having a device that will alert the motorists, citing misuse by criminals to evade the police or those who are speeding on the road to slow down just before they would have got caught. Even motoring groups, are sceptical. The AA spokesman Luke Bosdet, says
that only those who intend to evade the law would be the ones who would have this device.

The apparently device warns the driver of a nearby police car or even of a nearby helicopter by emitting flashing lights. Despite the threat of being banned, it apparently remains lawful.

Naeem Khokhar, managing director of CBS Automotive, dismisses the idea that this device would aid criminal activities. According to him it is device to prevent crime as a criminal won’t go through with his plan if he is aware of an emergency vehicle in the area.

Whether the law be changed to ban this device or make it a criminal offence to be in possession of it, remains to be seen.


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DVLA earns from giving out motorists’ details

In the past four and a half years the DVLA has earned about £22 million pounds by selling private details of drivers to parking enforcement firms. The details include the name and address of the motorists along with their vehicle details. This information is used by companies to issue and collect fines for alleged parking and motoring offences. This income is on an annual rise with an estimated total of 7.3 million pounds this year. The previous year, the DVLA had made £6 million pounds which was more than double to the 2.9 million it had earned in 2010-11.

Despite the criticism from motorists and motoring groups over the disclosure of private details of drivers, 31 companies have paid for the data with access to the private details of about £8.7 million drivers. Parking Eye, paying more than 7 million pounds is the biggest spender for recovering such data since 2011.
After a freedom of information request, these latest figures were released by the DVLA. The response clarified that the amount received by the DVLA is utilised to recover the administrative costs and thus indicated that the applicant funds this activity and not the tax payers.

The DVLA also denied any breach of Data Protection laws. According to them it is reasonable to release the data of such vehicle keepers to ensure the motorists commit motoring offences by parking their vehicles on others’ property and with no hope of being made accountable for their actions. If such information was not given to the parking enforcement agencies then it would create a difficulty for the landowner in enforcing their rights.

The DVLA also clarified that they have a valid Data Protection registration, probation periods and audits to keep track of the use of data.


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New drink drive limit kicks in scotland

With new drink driving limits in Scotland being lowered from 80mg to 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, drivers would have to wait a few hours longer to stay below the new prescribed limit. Dr Hazel Torrance, from the University of Glasgow, states that a combination of factors , in addition consumption of alcohol can determine the limit, including; the difference in body weight, sex of the person, whether they have eaten or not. Alcohol, impacts differently on different people. It takes longer to reach a maximum alcohol concentration in one’s blood if one has been eating. According to Dr Torrance, previously one could drink about a pint and half of beer or a large glass and a half of wine and still be under the limit, however now with the setting in of the new limit in Scotland a person can have about a pint of beer and a single glass of wine. People have been advised to wait before they drive after drinking, depending on the amount drunk.

On an average it takes about an hour to clear 15-18mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The difference in the old and new limit of the alcohol limit is 30 mg, so it would take one additional two hours to remain under the new limit. However toxicologists fear that one could be very well under the limit but still be impaired due to alcohol and thus it was important to refrain from driving completely after drinking.

According to Scottish justice secretary Michael Matheson, who was involved in highlighting the new drink driving limit north of the border, the new limit will make Scotland’s road safer and would help in saving lives. He also mentioned that just like in the Republic of Ireland, where the limits were lowered, Scotland is expecting to see a reduction in drink drinking.

Source :

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