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If you have studied the Legal Secretaries Diploma course through the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs, you will have touched upon the constitution of the United Kingdom and perhaps you have felt quite confused over what should transpire, according to the statutes and common law that have been formulated over many centuries and what really happens in reality. You will have learnt also about the conventions that have arisen over the years, whereby members of Parliament and the Prime Minister are obliged to adhere to past precedents in the everyday running of this country.
If you are a regular reader of articles from the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs on legal issues, you may notice that this subject was covered some time ago and it is an issue that insists on making the news. Politicians all seem to make noise about changing the law concerning the use of reasonable force to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property, but it is a fact that we are no further forward today than we were when the Tony Martin murder case hit the headlines back in 1999.
Following a review by the Lord Justice Jackson, which was commissioned by the previous Labour administration, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has now announced that there will be a ban on what are known as ‘success fees’, where no-win, no-fee cases are concerned. This is in an effort to curb the ‘sue and be sued’ culture which many people believe is in operation in our society today.
The law surrounding the doctrine of doli incapax has always proven to be extremely controversial, and not just in England. No doubt every single country in the world has deliberated over the age at which a child should be presumed to know that he/she is culpable of wrongdoing to the same extent as an adult. However, where England is concerned, there are reasons that the Liberal Democrat Party is calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised.
For three years, only two companies were approved by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service to carry out telephone hearings. In April 2011 the conference call company Kidatu Ltd. received its approval and now offers free telephone hearings for pro bono cases. Finance Director Paul Thompson said: “Our values are very important to us. We’re delighted to be able to contribute in such a tangible and meaningful way, and once a fee earner has tried our service, they’re happy to use us for non pro bono work.”
The question of whether or not UK human rights law should be watered down has now reached the point of very serious discussion, in the wake of the worst riots in England for over thirty years. Even before these violent outbursts in our cities, many people were claiming that human rights law had already gone too far. With the Prime Minister now advocating a serious departure from our existing human rights commitments, the next couple of years are likely to prove to be extremely interesting in this area of law.
The Legal Services Act 2007 could potentially represent the most significant change ever seen to the legal industry in this country. There is no denying the fact that many of the already established legal firms are slightly apprehensive over the introduction of certain provisions of this Act, and with good reason, as the whole ethos of their company and the way in which they carry out their business is likely to be brought into question, once these new laws finally come into effect. The specific legislation to which we are referring in this article is provided for under part V, ss. 71 to 72 of the Act.
An examination of the rule for settling civil claims – Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules
Recent announcements by the government have confirmed that later this year there will be major changes to parts of the Civil Procedural Rules (CPR). This month we will examine Part 36 of the CPR, which deals with how Claimants and Defendants can bring legal proceedings to an early conclusion. Although this can be a complex area of practice, the principles are rooted in common sense and the overriding objective of the CPR (legal proceedings should be quick, cost effective and just).