Ministry of Justice figures for 2014 show that judgements were issued in a total of 829,000 cases (not including family law matters).
This represents a 25% increase in judgements passed compared to 2013. In October to December 2014, the number of judgements was 196,000, this also represents an increase of 15% on the same quarter in the previous year.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been ordered to pay $7.2 million dollars compensation to Marvin Gaye’s estate after their hit “Blurred Lines” was found to infringe the copyright of Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up”.
As of April 2015, court fees across the United Kingdom are set to soar by 600 per cent in some cases.
Dismay ensued across the country upon announcement of the rise, expressed by the public and legal profession alike as the reality dawns that many could be denied a chance at justice as a result of such a hike.
The National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHS LA) has announced a pilot mediation scheme to resolve patient disputes.
Initially the scheme will be available for claims involving infant or elderly fatalities and care of the elderly.
CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) figures show a drop in private law cases from July 2013 to July 2014 of 36%.
These cases tend to relate to living and shared time arrangements for children whose parents are separated.
Concerns are mounting over no-win, no-fee agreements after a Legal Ombudsman’s report in late January 2014 highlighted abusive practices by some solicitors.
In 2013 lawyers were ordered to pay nearly £1 million in compensation to clients after agreements went wrong.
For the first time ever barristers across England and Wales have staged a refusal to work in the criminal courts, to raise the issue of the Government’s plans to cut legal aid fees by up to 30%.
They are being joined by solicitors, in what is also an unprecedented move, as they seek to highlight the two major issues at stake – the cutting of fees for legal aid work, and the belief that this will lead to poorer quality legal representation for those people not able to pay privately.
Solicitors and barristers up and down the country are coming together and threatening strike action over the Government’s proposed reforms to the legal aid system in England and Wales.
Approximately 80 lawyers in Devon and Cornwall have become the latest legal professionals to make a stand against the proposals that would see criminal lawyers having to compete for a contract in order to be allowed to take on legal aid cases.
A recent development
The Information Tribunal has rejected an attempt by the Department for Education (DfE) to withhold information, concerning the identity of groups who have proposed to open so-called ‘free schools’ in England, as reported by BBC News.
The Information, including the names, location and religious affiliation of such groups, was requested in an attempt to highlight an alleged lack of transparency inherent in the system of proposing and setting up a free school.
Yesterday, Teresa May, the Home Secretary, confirmed the Government would not seek to overturn an amendment supported by peers in the House of Lords in December 2012, regarding the removal of the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.
Section 5 states that: “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” could be deemed a criminal offence. The amendment to the Act was proposed last year by the former chief Constable of the West Midlands, Lord Dear, as part of the Crime and Courts Bill.#