Posts Tagged ‘ nottingham criminal justice ’


Our Nottingham office remains relatively busy in terms of staff and cases. Our Fraud Department is pressing ahead with their ongoing preparation of long running matters. The Proceeds of Crime team are still able to make progress with all of their customary day to day enquiries on clients’ behalves.

Police stations have been covered throughout the region and beyond either by video link or, wherever possible, by face to face attendance.

Our Crown Court team have been reduced dramatically, but are servicing the shorter hearings that are listed on a daily basis as well as preparing for up and coming longstanding trials.

The Magistrates’ Team have been reduced, but as it is mainly staffed by longstanding Partners of the firm there are plenty of people available to attend at court in person or by video link.

Our Higher Courts Advocate team are daily carrying out as many as a dozen hearings to Crown Courts throughout Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Birmingham, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and Lancashire.

Our Prison Law team have been perhaps at their busiest. Adjudications are less frequent at the present time, but the Parole Board continue to accept representations and hold hearings either by way video link or by telephone.   The daily flow of Prison Law enquiries is immense, but Euan, Alastair, Shannon, and Iona are all working flat out to make sure that we make contact with people as quickly as possible and try and help them through their difficulties.

Never hesitate to contact us whoever and wherever you are on (0115) 941 9141.

DEATH BY ONE AND A HALF THOUSAND CUTS

Written by admin
August 17th, 2019

The latest stealthy slice to be taken out of the criminal justice system comes in the form of a reduction of Crown Court hearing days.

We all know that to run a Crown Court is expensive.  We all know that to close a Crown Court will save money.  Unfortunately, closing a Crown Court means that cases are not heard, which has very little cost in financial terms but often huge costs in terms of the effect on defendants, complainants and witnesses, their emotions and their general wellbeing. It also means of course that neither Counsel nor solicitors are in a position to submit a bill, because a hearing has been postponed and the case has not been finished.  In some courts this means that the case will have to be put off for another eight or nine months, awaiting a trial slot. This inevitably means that the expense of prosecuting the case and defending it is moved skilfully into another tax year.

How many Crown Court hearing days do you think have been cut from the next Crown Court year?  Perhaps you think 1,000, or maybe 2,000, maybe as many as 5,000 – but surely not as that would obviously be unjust.  Perhaps you think 7,500 or even 10,000, but yet again, surely both of those figures are utterly unbelievable.  If you were to think 15,000, in short, you would be right.  Yes, 15,000 Crown Court hearing days have been cut from the next judicial year.

That’s 15,000 days when cases could be concluded, when witnesses could be put out of their misery, when complainants could get closure, when defendants could move on with their lives, be it in custody or as free people.  That’s 15,000 days when rehabilitation might have started or punishment might have been meted out.  Thanks to the Ministry of Justice and arguably the Treasury, all of these things have to be put on hold, whilst money is lavished on health, police, the armed forces, and who knows what else.

STUMBLING CPS GIVEN A LEG UP BY MOJ

Written by Sian Hall
February 16th, 2018

In recent times it has become apparent that many cases are either failing or being brought to court late as a result of difficulties and deficiencies within the Crown Prosecution Service.

This week, the Today programme was told that over 900 cases have failed in the course of last year because of lack of disclosure. Repeatedly, courts see charges being laid that do not match the facts leaving cases apparently under or over prosecuted. Time and again the Crown Prosecution Service rely on the courts to sort out the difficulties.

It has recently become apparent that a substantial budgetary increase has been afforded to the Crown Prosecution Service to enable them to recruit staff nationwide. Promises of rising pay scales and advantageous pensions are being dangled to lure lawyers on board.

The reality is of course is that most lawyers who are in a position to join the Crown Prosecution Service will either come from the independent bar or the defence community. By offering newly revamped salary packages, the Crown Prosecution Service inevitably put a strain on the defence community by drawing in-house some experienced defenders who are looking for a life without on-call commitments and day to day contact with some particularly difficult clients.

These defence services have struggled to recruit, fighting a losing battle against employers in the civil, commercial, private client, and even family areas, where instant fees can be significantly greater than those available to the average defence firm.

Whilst skewing the marketplace and slanting the playing field in the way that they are doing, the MOJ simply bring more stresses and problems to a different part of the criminal justice process. An equal distribution of funds between the Crown Prosecution Service and the defence community would obviously seem the more appropriate way of ensuring that the entire sector is well staffed. Instead of this, the MOJ have sought to impose a further legal aid cut on the very firms keeping the system afloat.

The only good news is that retention amongst Crown Prosecution Service staff, including those who have joined in the last three to six months, is poor. The lack of job satisfaction, the factory mentality, the lack of thanks and appreciation and the poor morale etc, within the Crown Prosecution Service have seen a number of new joiners leave forthwith, with some of them asking to return to their former posts.

A NEW STAR RISING IN THE EAST

Written by Sian Hall
August 22nd, 2017

 

At our Annual Partners’ Meeting Donna Pursglove from our Mansfield office was nominated as a potential Partner to be voted on by the Equity Partners in August of this year.

We are delighted to announce that on 2nd August 2017 all eight Equity Partners offered up a resounding “Yes” to the question “Would you like Donna Pursglove to be a Partner in the firm?”

 

Hardworking, caring, well-organised, thorough, humane, and supportive Donna Pursglove is an exceptional recruit to the Partnership. A skilled lawyer and tactician, Donna knows every possible twist and turn of Magistrates’ Court life.

 

As well-loved in the police stations as she is at court, Donna is a special favourite of everyone involved in the North Notts Criminal Justice and Criminal Investigation systems.

 

Much loved by colleagues and Partners alike, we can’t wait for Donna to join us for our September Partners’ Meeting but there is some fear and trepidation about the speech that she is likely to make about us all at her first Annual Partners’ Meeting next summer.

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