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Appeals and Renewal Applications – What Criminal Defence Lawyers Should and Should not do

In the recent case R v James [2018] EWCA Crim 285, three applications for leave to appeal were joined together because they all shared a similar feature that had nothing to do with fresh evidence or the nature of the crimes the applicants were convicted of – all the lawyers were ‘fresh lawyers’, in the sense that they hadn’t represented the accused at trial or in relation to an initial application to appeal, and were looking to renew these refused applications by lodging new grounds.

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Official Report Shows Holiday Booking Fraud on the Rise

A recent report created by Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, revealed that in 2017 holiday fraud in the UK amounted to £6.7 million, with 4,700 holidaymakers affected. The average amount lost per person, at above £1,500, represents a 25% rise from the previous year. Further, Action Fraud’s report revealed that victims of holiday booking fraud claimed the impact of the crime had gone beyond just financial, with some saying it had also affected their health.

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Concerns over SFO’s New Robot Recruit

In a news release published on 10 April 2018, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced its intention to use artificial intelligence in all new investigations. The organisation said its new AI system, which automates document analysis, will scan millions of documents and be able to detect patterns, remove duplicates, group information by topic and eventually sift for relevance. The new ‘robot’ was trialled in the Rolls-Royce case to detect material that might attract legal professional privilege in around 30 million documents. This was the first criminal case in the UK to make use of AI, and it was hailed a success by the SFO.

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The Right to have Serious Crimes Properly Investigated by Police Upheld by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Metropolitan Police breached the rights of two women (known as DSD and NBV) who made allegations of rape against John Worboys by failing to investigate the allegations properly. Two of the women raped by the black cab rapist in 2003 and 2007 had been fighting for justice for four years. When they initially reported the attacks, the police failed to investigate the cases properly, meaning Worboys remained at large – he went on to commit similar offences on over a hundred more women until 2009 when he was eventually arrested and charged.

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The Shifting Landscape of Sexual Offence Convictions

A recent BBC article reported that the number of sexual offences against men and has increased more than threefold in the past decade, with statistics from the Office for National Statistics showing 12,130 offences reported in England and Wales in 2016-17, compared with 3,819 in 2006-07. We are also seeing a record number of women being convicted of sex crimes, with many of the attacks are carried out on children. 142 women were found guilty of sex offences in 2016 – almost double that of 2014’s figures (74 women convicted) and more than triple the number at the start of the decade.

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14 June 2018

In the recent case R v James [2018] EWCA Crim 285, three applications for leave to appeal were joined together because they all shared a similar feature that had nothing to do with fresh evidence or the nature of the crimes the applicants were convic.

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