In its recent report, JUSTICE, the all party law reform and human rights organisation, called for the abolition of the dock and recommended alternative strategies. The findings of this report make surprising and compelling reading. For those unfamiliar with court proceedings, in criminal trials of adults, those remanded in custody will appear in court in a secure glass dock and if they are on bail, they often appear in an open dock rising to waist height. As a criminal defence lawyer I am well accustomed to the layout of the criminal court but have not previously given much thought to the defendant’s positioning and how the physical presence of a dock may influence our subconscious.

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As a criminal lawyer you become naturally entwined with the role of our Criminal Justice System. I witness the impact it has on the lives of my clients and their families every day, so when the opportunity came to attend the ‘United Against Injustice Annual Conference’ with my colleague, Post Conviction expert, Joe Ely, I knew I had to be there.

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Raising the age of criminal responsibility

By Zoe Keene at 00:00

Raising the age of criminal responsibility It would appear that this UK Government are quietly planning to raise the age of criminal responsibility from the current age of 10 to the age of 12. There is a bill before the House of Lords which proposes to do just that. There has been no publicity surrounding this and no mention of this in the last election manifesto. Is there a reason the UK Government want to raise the age of criminal responsibility quietly?

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'Revenge Porn' - Beware Before Your Share

By Hayley Cooper at 00:00

Channel 4’s recent documentary on this issue highlighted the increasing prevalence of “Revenge Porn” offences due to the explosion of smart phones and the speed and ease at which digital information (including images and videos) can be transferred and viewed online. The documentary suggested that 46% of young people surveyed had sent a rude text. Many did not consider the privacy aspect and repercussions further down the line. The documentary showed that images the journalist uploaded of herself received 13k hits or views in one day and after 3 days the images had been viewed on 43,000 occasions. This demonstrated how quickly the situation can get out of control in the fast developing digital world.

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Domestic violence cases are complex. In a criminal trial the evidence is tested under cross-examination by both the defence and prosecution solicitors. However, recent changes in the law, namely the case of R v Barnaby 2015 has made the process of challenging evidence more difficult.

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