Thursday, 16 January 2014

S11E02 - Filth, Filthy Behaviour and Filthy Lucre

You can listen to show by clicking right here but, of course, we'd prefer that you subscribed on iTunes or via Google Play Store or via any good podcatcher app on your phone/tablet.  Ben from Northpod Law particularly recommends this one for Android and iOS.
On this week's show, we take you through the details of the Sexual Offences Guidelines on sentencing.  We consider not only the mechanics of the guidelines for rape and assault by penetration but also the reasoning behind some of the changes.  The link to the guidelines is below.
Jonathan takes a look at the case that made the CPS cringe this week.  Did cost considerations really lead to the CPS binning at trial?  The full text is below.
The CBA meet with Grayling and it does not look good.
Andrew Neil meets with Grayling and makes him look a fool.  Turns out ministerial responsibility is a principle no longer appreciated by the Lord Chancellor.  Thanks to the BBC for the clip.
And a whole pile of other news stories that caught our eye but for which we had no time left.  Lots to get through in the links below.


Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics:
1. Grayling admits that the barristers’ earnings figures published out of nowhere last week were not an accurate reflection of the actual earnings but says that, even though his department published the stats, he could not be responsible for it.  This was during interview on Sunday Politics with Andrew Neil.

2. Law Society says that the drop in crime, year on year, will save £80m in legal aid by 2019 so no cuts are needed.
But it’s a bit undermined by its own preamble: Top of page 6
'The MoJ and LAA have been extremely helpful in supporting this work. However the LAA’s forecasting model draws on a number of datasets and assumptions that are not publically available. Without first-hand access to the LAA model or the confidential datasets, it has not been possible fully to recreate the LAA’s forecast for future years. The criminal Legal Aid expenditure forecast generated  by our model cannot therefore be directly compared to the LAA’s figures in any given year.'
and the MoJ told the Gazette:
‘This forecast is far less accurate than our own. Last year our forecast was correct to within 1%, whereas if we had used Oxford Economics analysis, we would have repeatedly overspent our legal aid litigation budget in the past few years.’ - interesting based upon Grayling’s view of the Ministry’s ability with figures...

3. A few days later, tory-rag the Daily Mail trumpets that that MoJ’s crime figures are wrong and that crime is not falling at all - therefore the Law Society’s argument must be wrong too.  Will May and the police get thrown on to the sacrificial bonfire by Grayling to continue his hate campaign against legal aid lawyers?  

4. 140 fewer courts but still the same costs for security?  Law Soc Gaz gets all FOI on the MoJ and reveals some odd answers:

5. What cost injustice?  This is devastating to the CPS.
JD: A summary of the highly pertinent info (yes, that’s 1.2 million):

Crown Prosecution Service


Some interesting stats on interpreters at court.  
In response to our request for comment from Geoffrey Buckingham
Chairman, APCI, he said “you may like to see the APCI FB page (link below) which has a comment;

The MoJ has published statistics for the performance of the Framework Agreement. They have done their best to dress it up, but you know that old saying about lipstick and bulldogs? Well they've gone a step further and put a dress and hat on it."
There is rather more considered comment and analysis to come on their website:

Family courts clogged

But Law Society thinks that it has spotted a problem.  Fee-charging McKenzie friends trying to make money by plugging the gap left by legal aid cuts (especially in family law):

Cops want to stop locking kids up in Greater Manchester

On the subject of locking up kids, this is often the subject of coroners’ Prevention of Future Deaths reports (or “Rule 43 reports” as they used to be known).  These have just started to be made available online.  Good news for transparency and for research.


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