Legislation / Legal
MoJ: Further initiatives to support women with particular vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system have been set out by Maria Eagle MP, Ministerial Champion for Women in the Criminal Justice System.
Publishing the Government's six-month progress report on Baroness Corston's independent review of women in the criminal justice system that have specific vulnerabilities, Maria Eagle outlined the progress made and the new commitments being considered.
Press release ~ Delivering the government response to the Corston report ~ The Corston Report ~ Government response to the Corston report ~ National Service Framework for Women Offenders ~ Offender Management Guide to Working with Women Offenders ~ Women in the criminal justice system ~ International Profile of Women's Prisons
MoJ: A research based review of no win no fee arrangements in England & Wales has been announced. The study will look at whether no win no fee arrangements are still operating in the best interests of giving people access to justice. The report to ministers (in the autumn) will help determine what specific aspects ought to be pursued in more detail and the feasibility of doing so.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has published a new bill that overrules the decision taken by the House of Lords last October that asymptomatic pleural plaques do not give rise to a cause of action under the law of damages.
The provisions in the bill will mean that people negligently exposed to asbestos who are diagnosed with pleural plaques will continue to be able to raise an action for damages. The provisions of the Bill would take effect from the date of the Judgment (i.e. October 17, 2007). This means that people whose cases have not been settled or determined by a court, before the date the bill comes into force will be covered by the provisions of the bill.
Press release ~ Clydeside Action on Asbestos ~ Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill (SP Bill 12) ~ Pleural plaques ~ Johnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd
MoJ: New coroners' powers (Coroners Amendment) Rules 2008) to help prevent avoidable deaths have been announced by Justice Minister Bridget Prentice in response to views expressed by bereaved families. From 17 July 2008, a new statutory duty will be placed on organisations to respond to coroners' reports on action that should be taken to prevent future deaths. Reports will then be shared with bereaved families, so that they are aware of the action being taken.
Coroners will also be required to notify Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) of the death of any child reported to them and allow them to supply information (such as reports from post-mortem examinations and documents given in evidence at an inquest) to LSCBs. This will enable LSCBs to meet their statutory obligations, including their responsibility to conduct child death reviews.