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How mental health legislation discriminates unfairly against people with mental illness
By George Szmukler , Professor of Psychiatry, King’s College
Mental health legislation, as currently conceived in most jurisdictions, discriminates against people with a mental illness. It carries underlying assumptions that people with such illnesses are not fully autonomous and that they are dangerous to others. .

A Unified Fraud Prosecution Office—Has a Case Been Made Out?
By Monty Raphael
Fraud in the UK is now estimated (still not measured) at £30 billion per annum. The variety of fraud has itself multiplied as delinquent ingenuity mirrors creativity and risk-taking in the legitimate economy. At the same time, as we look back 25 years to the Roskill Committee Report, we remark that a coherent anti-fraud strategy is yet to emerge.

Legal services reforms – some unresolved questions
By Stephen Hockman QC, Head of Six Pump Court chambers
Regulation is an inescapable feature of modern society. No longer can any group of service providers, even a group as ancient and reputable as the Bar of England and Wales, claim to remain exclusively self-regulating. A regulatory framework has to be established so as to ensure that the public interest is adequately protected in the manner in which barristers provide their service.

Although the Ministry of Justice has spent the last two years reviewing homicide law, there still remains a serious problem around “one-punch killers” which means punishment for bad luck, according to:
Barry Mitchell, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Coventry University Law School
One of the criticisms the writer and others have of the current law is that it makes it too easy for a person to be convicted of manslaughter, essentially because the law pitches the minimum level of culpability too low.

Rights and remedies
Thom Dyke looks at the scope of housing law rights and remedies.
In a previous article (see ‘A Home for Rights’, Michaelmas issue, October 2009) I addressed the issue of which human rights provisions are most commonly engaged by housing law issues. The next logical step is to ask who will be affected by these rights, before then considering what powers the courts have in respect of supplying an adequate remedy.

Mental health and justice: making rights a reality
By Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
The The criminal justice system is currently failing victims and witnesses with mental health problems. Last year, the influential House of Commons Justice Committee published their report into the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and identified mental health as a key area of weakness. They highlighted lack of support provided to victims and witnesses with mental health problems during the court process

The Jackson review and encouraging mediation development
By Professor Karl Mackie QC and Tony Allen solicitor

Sir Rupert Jackson’s preliminary report gave relatively little prominence to ADR. ADR does not feature in its index, and, in relation to the role of the civil courts, is said to be “by definition, the antithesis of the administration of justice by the courts”

After the War on Drugs: A Blueprint for Regulation
By Steve Rolles, Head of Research, Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Drug prohibition in various forms has been in place for over 100 years now, its historical roots traceable back to the temperance movement. This punitive criminal justice-led approach, premised on the understandable but simplistic concept that drugs are a threat, therefore we must fight them.
Costs – a missed opportunity?
By Dr Michael Arnheim, Barrister, Sometime Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge
After a gestation period of about twelve months, Lord Justice Rupert Jackson’s Final Report of his Review of Civil Litigation was published in January 2010, a two-volume Preliminary Report having appeared in May 2009. The Final Report contains some potentially useful recommendations and some very puzzling recommendations.

Are inaccurate media portrayals of the UK legal system adding to juror confusion?
By Paul Dockery, of 18 St John Street Chambers
Legal dramas have been a mainstay of the British screen for a number of years. From Rumpole of the Bailey and Blind Justice through to Judge John Deed and Kavanagh QC, there’s been no shortage of legal scenes to keep us entertained. But, how much emphasis should we place on these and other media representations?

Admissibility of DNA evidence
By Felicity Gerry, Barrister, 36 Bedford Row .
Reaction is overwhelmingly positive to news that the first case to be featured on the BBC's Crimewatch programme has been solved after a DNA profile produced from evidence at the scene was linked to a family member of the killer on the national database leading the police to the defendant.Paul Stewart Hutchinson pleaded guilty to the murder of 16-year-old Colette Aram and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years 

Legal issues in dementia care: the Nuffield Council’s report
By Jill Peay, Professor of Law, London School of Economics
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) sets out how a decision can be made if a person is not able to make that particular decision for themselves. It must, however, always be assumed that a person does have capacity to make a decision, until it is shown that they can’t.
 
 
   
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