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Criminal Law

Gordon Brown & Jacqui Smith

The proposal is a recipe for injustice. They are saying that they want to imprison people for up to 42 days while they search for evidence upon which they could charge them with an offence.

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Bid Rigging

It seems my post on bidding for public contrcts in the construction industry missed one element – bid-rigging.

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My Attorney General, Bernie

Reading of Lord Goldsmith’s interventions in the BAE scandal brings to mind Blossom Dearie’s rendition of “My Attorney Bernieâ€?. Here are the words, but it’s essential to hear Blossom singing it to appreciate it. My Attorney Bernie (Words and Music by Dave Frishberg) I’m impressed, with my attorney Bernie I’m impressed, with his influential friends He’s got very big connections and I follow his directions Bernie knows his way around and so I always do what Bernie recommends. I am […]

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Judge Roy Bean & friends

In a criminal trial the role of the villain is always allocated to the accused, it seems.

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Don’t vote for Fine Gael

Furthermore, Fine Gael should get out more.

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Here’s your drug test, Minister…

Luckily for bookmakers, probability is not reliably intuitive. What is the value of a random drug test?

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A cup of tea for Mr. Obama!

I suggest the true reason is very deep; candidate or no, Barack Obama is, essentially, on the wrong side of an asymmetric relationship. The State has and owns the information it took from him and feels no obligation to him for that. In short, the Privacy Act 1974, like all such provisions anywhere, is a sop.

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Pleading the Belly

However, I look forward to the case where I inform a court that my client will so plead.

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Human Nature

Consider this; in the writer’s experience when the word “independentâ€? is associated with the title of any institution, it is invariably the case that the institution is not “independentâ€?.

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Indictments are like cheques; sign them!

endorsed the decision in R v Morais (1988) 87 Cr App R 9. In that case the judge had given leave to prefer a voluntary bill against the accused, who was arraigned on six counts in the bill. The accused pleaded not guilty, was convicted on four counts and was sentenced. Relying on the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933, he appealed on the ground that the bill had never been signed by the proper officer: without a signature, he argued, there could be no indictment, and without an indictment there could be no valid trial.

In Morais the Court of Appeal agreed with the submission. The court endorsed a statement of Peter Pain J in an earlier case:

It seems to us that it is impossible for a criminal trial to start without there being a valid indictment to which the defendant can plead, and that the bill of indictment does not become an indictment until it is signed”.

In Ireland the relevant legislation is the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act 1924. It mandates the form of the indictment in the Act and in the First Schedule to the Act. The choice of indictment is limited to the charges expressed or implied in the documents known as the “Book of Evidenceâ€? served on the accused.

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