Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Queen’s Speech 2013-2014

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The Queen’s Speech 2013 contains few measures that seem likely to impact directly on the English Legal system. The two most obvious candidates are:

1. Offender Rehabilitation Bill

This is designed to extend statutory supervision after release to offenders serving short custodial sentences, allowing probation providers to deal with the causes of re-offending. This would mean that all offenders released from prison will receive at least 12 months’ statutory supervision.

For sentences served in the community, the Bill would create greater flexibility for probation providers so that they are free to deliver innovative and effective interventions to tackle re-offending.

The main benefits of the Bill would be to:

  • Reduce re-offending rates for the most prolific offenders.
  • Support Government plans to open up probation services to a wide range of providers(including private and voluntary sector providers) through competition and develop use of a system of payment by results for providers

The Bill would provide for drug-abusing offenders to be required to attend treatment appointments, and expand the drugs that an offender can be required to be tested for from class A to class B.

The Bill would create a new rehabilitation activity requirement that can be imposed as part of sentences served in the community. This would provide a flexible requirement within which probation providers can require offenders to attend appointments or activities that support their rehabilitation.

2. Anti-social Behaviour,  Crime and Policing Bill which  contains a variety of measures including policies to tackle anti-social behaviour, forced marriage, dangerous dogs and illegal firearms used  by gangs and in organised crime. It also includes measures to enhance the professional capabilities and integrity of the police, and continuing the process of modernising police pay and conditions.

3. Immigration Bill may have a significant impact on rights of appeal in immigration disputes.

In addition there are two draft Bill which will have an impact on the English Legal system, when enacted.

1 Draft Deregulation Bill, be published in draft for pre – legislative scrutiny. While many regulations are being scrapped and reformed either administratively or via secondary legislation, the main aims of this Bill are, in the Government’s words, to:

  • ·         Reduce or remove burdens on businesses and Civil Society and facilitate growth
  • ·         Reduce or remove burdens on public bodies, the taxpayer or individuals
  • ·         Tidying up the statute book by repealing legislation that is no longer of any practical use.

 2 Draft  Consumer Rights Bill, designed to

  •  Give consumers clearer rights in law and to make sure that consumer rights keep pace with technological advances.
  • Provide important new protections for consumers alongside measures to  reduce regulation for business, all with the aim of making markets work  better.

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Written by lwtmp

May 11, 2013 at 8:34 am

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