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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