The Howard League published an interesting pamphlet last month, 'What if imprisonment were abolished for property offences?'. Unsurprisingly, with such a title, it has attracted significant media attention (see eg, here and here). The pamphlet is written by Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford University, and it seeks to challenge conventional thinking […]

The Court of Appeal has resoundingly rejected an argument to permit a defence of necessity to euthanasia and, by extension, to encouraging or assisting suicide (R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2013] EWCA Civ 961). This is the less surprising outcome of the latest round of 'right to die' litigation which originally involved Tony Nicklinson […]

So, I was out shopping at the weekend, and walked past a gadget shop. Outside the shop were a couple of staff, one demonstrating a (very) mini-helicopter toy, the other discreetly wielding what I now know to be an Air Zooka (see the video demo via the 'Movie' button). Essentially, this is a toy which […]

An interim report has been published as part of Operation Herne. Herne was established following allegations of misconduct and of criminal behaviour by members of the now defunct undercover Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). SDS was formed by the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police. The interim report deals specifically with the issue of the use […]

Over the course of a number of posts I would like to consider some issues arising from the much-publicised incidents of male undercover police officers who, while conducting covert operations, entered into sexual relationships with members of the groups which were the targets of those operations. In this first post, I am particularly interested in […]

[This post also appears on my education blog, Ed Lines, which deals with matters relating to learning in law.] There have been some rumblings recently about an examination question appearing on the undergraduate Criminal Law paper at Cambridge University. In format, it is a standard problem style question, typical for a law paper. The scenario […]

The Howard League issued a press release a couple of weeks ago referring to a 'postcode lottery' in the sentencing practice of magistrates' courts. The press release refers to the extent to which immediate custody is used by magistrates in different areas. Overall, the figures appear to indicate a decline in the use of immediate […]