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Black lawyer was told ‘people like you don’t become barristers’

Black lawyer was told ‘people like you don’t become barristers’ | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Figures show around 3.2% of members of the bar are from black and ethnic backgrounds.
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Jane Monckton Smith: ‘Domestic abuse isn't a row. It's when one person has become a threat to another’ | Domestic violence | The Guardian

Jane Monckton Smith: ‘Domestic abuse isn't a row. It's when one person has become a threat to another’ | Domestic violence | The Guardian | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The author and professor of public protection on the red flags of coercive control and how courts should change to give abuse victims an equal voice...
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Family Law Week: Domestic abuse in Wales and Covid-19

Home > News Domestic abuse in Wales and Covid-19 A survey is now open for people who live or work in Wales and have witnessed domestic abuse or its warning signs during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey forms part of domestic abuse research being delivered by The Wales Violence Prevention Unit and University of Exeter, investigating the experiences and behaviours of those who witness or have concerns about domestic violence and abuse and its warning signs during Covid-19. The research team is asking members of the Welsh public to share anonymously their experience of witnessing or having concerns about domestic abuse during the pandemic, so bystanders can be equipped with the right knowledge, skills and training necessary to safely intervene and help more people in the future. Since lockdown measures came into force early in 2020, there have been stark warnings from global leaders about the risk of a "shadow pandemic" of abuse taking place inside people's homes. In Wales, there has been a 41 per cent increase in the number of contacts made to the Live Fear Free helpline since April 2020. As much of the population continues to observe the "stay home" guidance, there are fewer opportunities for survivors to seek support and for bystanders, such as concerned family, friends, volunteers and colleagues, to intervene. However, with many people now conducting much of their daily life from inside their homes, there are new opportunities for different groups of people, including neighbours, colleagues in virtual meetings and delivery drivers, to spot the warning signs of abuse and take safe action. To participate in the survey, click here. 21/2/21
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Be careful what you wish for

Be careful what you wish for | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The second instalment of my blog on Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), from an advocacy service managers perspective. Covering the changes from the first published factsheet.
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Talking Law with Sally Penni

Talking Law with Sally Penni | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Presented by multi-award winning barrister Sally Penni, Talking Law profiles leading figures in UK law as they discuss the highs and lows of their career plus the challenges and realities of the legal profession.
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News Essentials: 13th February 2021

News Essentials: 13th February 2021 | Legal In General | Scoop.it
A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:  NEWS Council secures injunction against man wh
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Family Law Week: Family Division’s Transparency Review: Update

Home > News Family Division’s Transparency Review: Update The final publication of the Family Division's Transparency Review is now expected to be in Summer 2021. In May 2019, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, announced he would undertake a review of the current arrangements for media/public access and reporting in the Family Courts (known as the Transparency Review). Courts have continued to operate despite the challenges of the pandemic, but there have been unavoidable delays to the timetable Sir Andrew had envisaged when he launched the Review. A panel helping the President has recently been extended to include a senior family division judge. The panel's aim is to gather full and candid information for the Review. The panel members are: Mrs Justice Nathalie Lieven (Family Division High Court judge) Dr Eia Asen (consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist) Anthony Douglas CBE (former chief executive of CAFCASS) Clare Dyer (former Legal Editor of The Guardian) Nicola Shaw CBE (Executive Director of National Grid) The President is grateful to all those who contributed to the Transparency Review call for evidence. In all, more than 100 submissions were received from individuals and agencies drawn from across the world of family justice. The President and panel have now been able to meet remotely to review all submissions and consider from whom to hear oral evidence. Three oral evidence sessions are being held. The first was held on 2 February 2021. It included four participants, and was conducted remotely and according to witness preference (including reasonable adjustments). The panel heard from: HH Clifford Bellamy – Retired Judge & author of The "Secret" Family Court: Fact or Fiction? Judge Bellamy gave a presentation (for which, click here). Dr Carol Coulter – Director of Child Care Law Reporting Project, Republic of Ireland (for which, click here). More information is available on the Child Law Project website. Lisa Harker – Director of the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. Professor Celia Kitzinger – Co-founder of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project. The next oral sessions will take place on Monday, 8 March and Monday, 17 May. Invitations for them will be sent out shortly. These sessions will involve a range of respondents, and the logistics including formal invitations and methodology for each participant group are being finalised. In each case, provisions will be made to make the content of the sessions available either at the time or later if there are sensitivities or preferences defined by the respondent. 14/2/21
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Family Law Week: Civil legal aid bills consultation launched

Home > News Civil legal aid bills consultation launched The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the proposed transfer from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of costs other than those involving a detailed inter partes assessment. In July 2020 the MoJ proposed that the assessment of all Court Assessed Claims would be conducted by the LAA and legal aid providers had the option to send these claims to the LAA or HMCTS. From 17 August 2020, it was made mandatory to submit Court Assessed Claims to the LAA. Currently the position is that providers can choose whether to send their bills to the LAA or HMCTS. The MoJ says that to date this transfer has made no discernible impact on appeals where providers have disagreed with the proposed payments, and the LAA has remained well within its published target for processing claims – which is for 90 percent of complete and accurate bills to be paid within twenty working days, suggesting that the current arrangement of the LAA assessing these claims is working effectively in ensuring legal aid providers are being paid as swiftly as possible. The MoJ is now seeking views on whether the transfer of Court Assessed Claims from HMCTS to LAA should be made on a permanent basis. The consultation closes on 10 April 2021. For the consultation document, click here. 14/2/21
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Court of Protection Newsletter #22

Guidance The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published guidance on the designated settings scheme for people discharged from hospital to a care home with a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
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Paths to becoming a lawyer: Your official roadmap to the legal profession goes live

Paths to becoming a lawyer: Your official roadmap to the legal profession goes live | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Don’t know your LLBs from your SQEs? Don’t panic.This new comprehensive guide is here to help...
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Whats on Your Head? - Series 1: 6. Barrister

Whats on Your Head? - Series 1: 6. Barrister | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Alexandra tells us why she loves wearing her brilliant barrister’s wig.
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Book review: The Secret Magistrate

Book review: The Secret Magistrate | Legal In General | Scoop.it
We review the anonymous author's inside view of the magistracy. ...Continue reading...
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Weekly Notes: legal news from ICLR, 15 February 2021 | by The ICLR | Weekly Notes | Legal News from ICLR | Feb, 2021

Weekly Notes: legal news from ICLR, 15 February 2021 | by The ICLR | Weekly Notes | Legal News from ICLR | Feb, 2021 | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Over five million applications have now been made to the EU Settlement Scheme, according to the latest Home Office figures.The scheme only remains open for another four and a bit months, till 30…...
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The increase in financial abuse of the elderly: what, why, how?

The increase in financial abuse of the elderly: what, why, how? | Legal In General | Scoop.it
There are numerous well known charities that champion the fight against elder abuse and there has recently been an increase in action groups campaigning for harsher sentences for perpetrators.  Action on Elder Abuse is a registered charity which aims to end the abuse and exploitation of elderly people and is running a petition to be presented to the Government calling for new legislation categorising elder abuse as a hate crime.  However, interestingly His Honour Judge Denzil Lush, a trustee of the charity, author and former senior Court of Protection judge refuses to support the campaign to classify elder abuse as a hate crime.  To be considered a hate crime an offence must meet various specific criterion. These include but are not limited to; the act constituting a criminal offence; the act being motivated by hatred or bias; the act having some impact upon both the victim and/or their wider community. His Honour Judge Denzil Lush does not agree that elder abuse meets the criteria in most cases.  He suggests that a significant proportion of offences are of a financial nature rather than offences against the person and are motivated by greed rather than hate. Offenders are almost exclusively friends or family of the victim meaning that the victim is unlikely to press charges or want to see their loved ones subjected to any custodial sentence, let alone an enhanced one.  Further, within his own article “Should elder abuse become a hate crime?” His Honour Judge Denzil Lush suggests that not all cases of financial abuse of elderly people can realistically be regarded as criminal activity, with much of it being “opportunistic, unethical conduct … caused by “incompetence, wilful ignorance of the law, bitter intra-family disputes, personal financial pressures or an entrenched sense of entitlement to acquire their parents’ assets”. A common scenario in financial elder abuse cases is the ruthless attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) helping himself to the donor’s hard earned savings where the victim suffers from a form of cognitive impairment, and is often oblivious to the crime.   This means that the harm done has little or no impact on the victim and certainly no obvious lasting effect on the elderly population generally, or on wider society as a whole. His Honour Judge Denzil Lush is of the view that there are more subtle and sophisticated ways of dealing justly with cases of this kind. NHS England and other organisations are trying to tackle the issue from a preventive, rather than cure, perspective.  They suggest that if our current middle aged/younger population focus now on health, general wellbeing and work/life balance, they will enjoy greater wealth, security, confidence, health and stronger support networks in their advanced years which should ultimately make them less vulnerable to opportunistic abuse.  They are also encouraging local authorities to work on creating stronger communities to develop better relationships of support across the generations. Accordingly they are calling for more social housing for the elderly and improved training for carers.  All of these measures are aimed at reducing isolation of the elderly and could therefore have a significant impact in the long term. So, what do you do if you want to prevent the financial abuse of your elderly loved one, or even safeguard your own future?  If the person in question has capacity, then the obvious answer would be to make an LPA. These are relatively quick, easy and cost effective to do.  Whilst there are some concerns surrounding the adequacy of safeguarding provisions within the system, most financial planning experts still generally support their use.  Alternatively you could set up a trust, with or without a life benefit reserved for yourself, and appoint your own trustees.  The similar potential ‘weakness’ in both instances is that they rely to a large degree on a relationship of trust which is, by its very nature subjective and open to abuse. Clearly there is no quick or easy solution to what is a growing nationwide social problem and it will be interesting to see what recommendations the Law Commission report makes, and whether this results in any legislative change.  Undoubtedly a criminal conviction, by whatever means, would assist significantly in bringing a civil law suit.  Hopefully, whether elder abuse is classified as a hate crime or not, the outcome of these ongoing investigations and mounting public pressure will result in better safeguarding for future older generations.
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Clare Ciborowska comments on the Domestic Violence Bill in the Independent - 1 Crown Office Row, Brighton, Barrister Chambers

Clare Ciborowska comments on the Domestic Violence Bill in the Independent - 1 Crown Office Row, Brighton, Barrister Chambers | Legal In General | Scoop.it
In a recent article by Natasha Phillips on the Independent, Clare Ciborowska comments on the Domestic Violence Bill as part of a wider look at the rise of domestic violence during the pandemic. She offers legal insight based on her extensive experience in this area of family law.
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Covid vaccination in the Court of Protection –

Covid vaccination in the Court of Protection – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
By Bonnie Venter, Monday 15th February 2021 As an academic researching and teaching Medical Law, I easily find myself reducing the law to nothing more than paper. I’m constantly surrounded by an array of textbooks and piles of academic articles scattered across a desk.
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How does a jointly held property pass on death?

How does a jointly held property pass on death? | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk. Spotlight A day in the life Of... Read on How does a jointly held property pass on death? Date:11 FEB 2021 When meeting with clients to discuss their succession planning, many cannot recall whether their property is held jointly as joint tenants or jointly as tenants in common. The distinction is that with properties held as joint tenants, both parties own the “whole” of the property. On the death of the first joint tenant, the property will pass automatically to the surviving joint tenant, regardless of the terms of the deceased joint tenant’s Will or the intestacy rules. In contrast, with properties held as tenants in common, both parties own a distinct “share” in the property – this can be 50-50 or any other split, which would usually be recorded in a Declaration of Trust.  On the death of the first tenant in common, his or her share in the property will pass in accordance with his or her Will or intestacy. This gives some scope for Inheritance Tax planning. It is possible to check how a property is owned at the Land Registry, for a small fee. It is also possible to change how your property is held, if you wish.  Article continues below... Financial Remedies Handbook Formerly entitled the Ancillary Relief Handbook... £91.99 View product Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative... £289.99 View product Family Law Webinars One hour of training for just £75+VAT. Our 2019... View product There are a number of estate planning opportunities, as well as practical matters, to consider when it comes to deciding how your property should be held and in putting that into effect. For example, a property held as joint tenants which passes automatically to the surviving spouse on the first death, will be exempt from Inheritance Tax as spouse exemption will apply. It will also pass without the need for a Grant of Probate. A property held as tenants in common may, of course, still pass to the surviving spouse on the first death, if the deceased spouse left his or her share of the property to the surviving spouse in his or her Will, in which case spouse exemption would still apply. However, Wills could be drawn so that on the death of the first spouse to die, he or she leaves his or her share (or a percentage of it) to a trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse for the rest of his or her lifetime (in which case spouse exemption may still apply depending on the terms of the trust) or to another individual(s), either outright or into a trust.  There may be many potential benefits of doing this such as keeping value out of the surviving spouses estate to reduce the Inheritance Tax liability on his or her death, to keep the value of the estates such that the residence nil rate band can be claimed and in providing certainty as to where the share passes after the surviving spouses death. There are many other factors to consider when it comes to how best to leave property on death and the above matters should be explored as part of a wider discussion about tax and estate planning as a whole. Categories: Articles
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Family Law Week: Legal Services Board data demonstrate fluctuating demand for family law services during pandemic

Home > News Legal Services Board data demonstrate fluctuating demand for family law services during pandemic Since June 2020, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has been tracking multiple data sources to provide the clearest picture it can of the impact of Covid-19 on legal services. Its Covid-19 research dashboard indicates the effect on demand for different legal services and the health of the market in England and Wales. Recent updates to the dashboard include additional indicators relating to divorce applications and referrals to the National Centre for Domestic Violence. Divorce applications received by HM Courts & Tribunals Service in November 2020 increased by 16 per cent to 11,700 compared to 10,000 in November 2019. However, there were significant fluctuations within the 12 months. Between April 2020 and July 2020 applications increased by 93 per cent but dipped in August 2020 to below 2019 levels. This summer peak may indicate a reluctance to issue proceedings during the first national lockdown with a subsequent spike showing that pent-up need. Applications increased again by 46 per cent between August and October 2020. Referrals to the National Centre for Domestic Violence increased by 13 per cent to 7,500 in December 2020 compared to 6,700 in December 2019. However, there were significant fluctuations within the 12 months. There was a 23 per cent increase between April 2020 and July 2020, followed by a downward trend between August and November 2020. To view the LSB's Covid-19 research dashboard, click here. 14/2/21
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Emojis: the hidden dangers of cute characters | Feature

Emojis: the hidden dangers of cute characters | Feature | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Examining the growing regulatory and employment issues surrounding the increasing use of emojis in the business world.
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The MCA and the translation gap –

The MCA and the translation gap – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
In England and Wales, the concept of mental capacity is codified in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).  Central to this concept is the functional test – whether the person can understand, retain, …...
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Labour says confidence in justice system at ‘all-time low for victims’ – The Justice Gap

Labour says confidence in justice system at ‘all-time low for victims’ – The Justice Gap | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Labour has renewed its calls for a ‘victims’ law’ following reports that victims are often left ‘re-traumatised’ by their experiences with the criminal justice system. The shadow minister for victims and youth justice, Peter Kyle has introduced a new Bill in Parliament calling for a fresh law to be passed giving legally enforceable rights to victims of crimes.  Currently, victims already have rights under the Victim’s Code, which include the right to information and the right to make a victim impact statement, but, according to Crime Survey for England & Wales, only one in five victims had heard of it in 2017-18. A BBC report showed earlier this month that victims are losing faith in the justice system, with 22.6% of crimes being closed due to victims not supporting prosecution. The Labour MP agrees that confidence in the justice system is ‘at an all-time low for victims’. The Labour MP has said, in his motion to bring in the Bill, that ‘only a minority of victims understand their rights and only a fraction will ever exert them’. He believes that, by putting these rights on to statutory footing, victims will be empowered with the necessary knowledge of their rights, as well as the tools to uphold them. The Bill introduces, among other things, a requirement for victims to be read their rights as early as perpetrators, a Victim’s Commissioner independent of government, and career-limiting consequences to those in the justice system who fail to uphold victim’s rights, such as the creation of a register containing the names of such individuals. The issue has a long history and back in 2015 Labour published recommendations on a victims’ law. Defence lawyers have expressed their concerns about the undermining of defendants’ rights and the ‘pendulum swing‘ towards the rights of victims. Conservative governments had already pledged to enshrine victims’ rights into law before. According to Kyle, there have been 1 million sexual offences and 350,000 rapes since the first promise of a Bill by the Conservative government and none of these victims could benefit from their promised statutory rights.
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