Society and Bar join forces to condemn backlog plans

first_img*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England. The government’s proposals to tackle the 40,000-strong backlog of Crown court cases will threaten the credibility of the justice system, the Law Society and Bar Council allege today.Extended hours will be introduced from this month and legislation to abolish some jury trials could be passed within weeks.In a strongly-worded joint statement issued today, Law Society president Simon Davis and Bar Council chair Amanda Pinto QC said they would not support any steps to remove jury trials. Extending court hours would come at a big financial cost to the taxpayer, and adversely affect lawyers – especially those with caring responsibilities and black, Asian and minority ethnic practitioners who are at greater risk of Covid-19. Law Society president Simon DavisLaw Society and Bar Council say government should not mess with court hours and jury trialsDavis and Pinto said they were alarmed by the size of the backlog but said it was approaching 40,000 prior to the pandemic because the government did not fund the judicial time needed. Opening courts for longer, including Saturdays and Sundays, and interfering with jury trials ‘present a threat to the credibility of our justice system’, they said.The duo said they had not seen any government modelling to support the erosion of jury trials. If court hours are to be extended, they asked who would pay for the court staff, judges, probation officers and security staff to attend court. They also pointed out that victims and witnesses would find it difficult to get to court or return home safely. Solicitors on call to police stations out of hours would struggle with the additional workload and many have been furloughed because there is no income to pay their salaries.Davis and Pinto backed a ‘multi-faceted approach’ to increasing court capacity – more efficient use of the current court estate, part-time judges, robust technology and additional court buildings similar to the ‘Nightingale’ hospitals.They said: ‘These “Blackstone” courts would use public or private buildings currently lying idle. Local barristers and solicitors are identifying suitable buildings to add to the court. This combination of solutions would allow safe distancing in existing buildings, add overall capacity to the number of court rooms, and be convenient for participants.‘We urge the Ministry of Justice to work at pace with us to find practical and sensible ways to address the volume of cases being heard. It is only if or when this multi-faceted exercise has been shown not to address the volume of outstanding cases that the government should even consider tampering with constitutional and established methods of determining justice.’Barristers and solicitors will continue to play their fundamental part in keeping the justice system afloat. We are already adopting new ways of working successfully to drive justice forward but the rule of law must not be undermined. We will not support any steps to remove the right to jury trials.’ Please see the Gazette’s dedicated coronavirus page here >> Find advice and updates here.last_img read more

Two Anchorage Residents Facing Charges for Sockeye Fire

first_imgInvestigation by the Alaska Division of Forestry and Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office led to charges filed today against 59-year-old Greg Imig and 42-year-old Amy Dewitt due to their roles in starting the fire. That 7,220-acre wildfire began on June 14, consumed 55 homes, and damaged 44 other structures. In addition, individuals responsible for starting a wildfire can be held accountable for up to two times the cost of fighting the fire. The reckless endangerment and negligent burning charges are class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine while the other charges are lesser misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500. The charges against Imig and Dewitt include three counts of reckless endangerment, criminally negligent burning, failure to obtain a burn permit, burning without clearing an area, allowing the spread of fire and leaving a fire unattended.center_img FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Charges have been filed against two Anchorage residents in relation to the cause of the Sockeye Fire north of Willow last month. At last report, the Sockeye Fire suppression costs were over $8 million. The agencies’ investigators determined the blaze was caused by an illegal debris burn pile which escaped into forested lands from a recreational cabin site owned by Imig.last_img read more

Captain Chapman inspires Chelsea Ladies to victory

first_imgCaptain Katie Chapman scored with two powerful headers as the Blues came from behind to beat Notts County Ladies 2-1 and keep alive their Women’s Super League title chances.AdChoices广告The Blues trailed to Jo Potter’s fierce 62nd-minute strike at Wheatsheaf Park but Chapman levelled from a corner within a minute.And the England midfielder grabbed the winner with 13 minutes remaining, heading in Hannah Blundell’s cross to close the gap on leaders Manchester City Women to seven points with a game in hand.Both sides created chances in an open first period, with Eni Aluko and Gilly Flaherty both going close for the hosts and Jess Clarke having a decent shot by Blues goalkeeper Becky Spencer at the other end.Soon after the restart Gemma Davison was brought down in the box as she attempted to go round Megan Walsh, but the goalkeeper made amends by saving the penalty.Potter’s strike then put the visitors ahead, but Chapman’s double turned the match around and the Blues held on despite some nervy late moments.Meanwhile, Chelsea have been drawn to play German side Wolfsburg in the Women’s Champions League for the second year in a row.The Blues will play last season’s runner-up in the last 32 on either October 5 or 6, with the return leg a week later on October 12 or 13. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook See also:Chelsea Ladies star Bright gets England callChapman influence behind Bright England call – RaffertyChelsea Ladies win to stay in touch with Man CityPlaying at Stamford Bridge is a great opportunity and shows how far women’s football has comelast_img read more