admin - Bhatia Best Solicitors
For our Motoring Law Department, click here.

Lengthy sentence for drug dealing from prison

The court of appeal upheld lenthy sentences imposed on prisoners who continued their drug dealing operation. In R v Morley and Others 2012 EWCA Crim 1866 M, C and Y were convicted of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs. Drugs were distributed in Cumbria, West Yorkshire and the North East. Y ran the operation from in prison. 875 grams of cocaine at 1% and 930 grams of amphetamine at 1%, with a combined street value of just over £50,000, were seized following surveillance. Y was a serving prisoner and ran the operation. He was assisted by many others. The Judge remarked that the case was not serious because of the quantity or purity of drugs, but because...

Read More ›

Recent ruling as to what constitutes a valid marriage

In the recent case of MA –v- JA and the Attorney General (2012) EWHC 2219 (FAM) the court ruled that a marriage was valid: • A husband and wife asserted that they had been validly married in a ceremony of marriage that took place at a mosque in 2002. They sought a declaration that their marriage was valid at its inception. The Attorney General opposed this application submitting that the ceremony had no effect in English law and was therefore a “non-marriage”. • The Judge had heard oral evidence from the husband and wife and was satisfied that they intended to contract a marriage that was valid under English law. However, the Judge was not satisfied that all of the...

Read More ›

Personal injury client assisted by Community Care team

A personal injury client who had a fore foot amputation was unable to use his bath. The Local Authority have community care obligations and a bathing assessment was requested. The initial assessment confirmed that a formal assessment was required but there was a 9 month waiting list! The matter was referred to our Public Law Department who immediately wrote to the Local Authority pointing out that it was unreasonable and unlawful to expect the client to wait 9 months for an assessment in respect of a need which had already been identified. The assessment took place one week later and arrangements will now be made for the client to have a level access shower. There are barely a handful of...

Read More ›

Adoption halted whilst miscarriage of justice investigated

A recent Court of Appeal case has halted the adoption of a little boy to allow further investigation of the risk that his parents may have been wrongly accused of abusing him. The boy, who cannot be named, suffered multiple broken bones which the High Court decided last year were inflicted by one or other of his parents. As a result the court decided that the boy should be placed outside his family for adoption. A further review of his medical records revealed the possibility that a deficiency of Vitamin D might have been responsible for the bones being broken through normal handling. The Court of Appeal halted the adoption process to obtain further expert evidence on this point from an...

Read More ›

Rights of vulnerable families to housing and social benefits.

The recently reported case of Ruiz Zambrano v Office National De L'emploi (c-34-/09) (2012) 2 WLR 886 will be used as a useful tool to ensure that local authority housing departments provide necessary urgent accommodation to avoid destitution and homelesness. Bhatia Best's public law team has recently lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal arguing that the above case confers a derivative right to reside for a mother without status in the country and her British child. The court has granted permission to proceed and the matter is listed to be heard on the 7th November this year. If successful the case will establish the rights of many vulnerable families without status in the UK to claim social housing...

Read More ›

Indeterminate sentences ruled unlawful

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) are unlawful. More than 6000 prisoners in England and Wales are currently serving such sentences. Many are detained beyond the term fixed within the sentence as punishment and under the current legislation must prove that they are no longer a danger to society before being released. The court ruled that prisoners, particularly those with learning difficulties or mental health problems have "no realistic chance" of attending or passing rehabilitation courses to prove that they are fit for release. The Howard League for Penal Reform has campaigned against these sentences for many years as being wrong in principle and practice. Clients should note that this ruling...

Read More ›

Every Child in Need

The Department of Education is proposing wide-ranging changes to the legal framework which protects society’s most vulnerable children throughout England and Wales, removing the obligation on Local Authorities to act swiftly in assessing the needs of children at potential risk. The proposals are set out in a consultation which runs until 4th September 2012 (https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations/a00211065/revised-safeguarding-guidance.). We are supporting ‘Every Child in Need’, a campaign launched on 26 July 2012, challenging the Department of Education’s proposals. The Ministers, Michael Gove MP and Tim Loughton MP, say the proposed changes involve cutting ‘red tape’, allowing local authority children’s services departments more freedom to meet children’s needs. Many local authorities – cash-strapped following swingeing cuts to their budgets – are happy to take...

Read More ›

Sentencing Guidelines for Growing Cannabis

The Court of Appeal in the case of R v Healey and others [(2012) EWCA Crim 1005] has issued further guidance on the approach to sentencing those charged with Cultivating Cannabis, an offence which is particularly prevalent. This case gives advice as to the approach to be taken to the guidelines issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council in February of this year. The guidelines consider the level of harm done and the culpability of the offender. The case of Healey makes it clear that the level of harm is dictated by quantity and the likelihood of the cultivation increasing the general supply in the community. Judges are advised not to simply accept a defendant's assertion that large quantities are for...

Read More ›

Modernising family justice

A High Court Judge, Mr Justice Ryder, has been considering proposals for modernising the whole family justice system.  His report was published on 31 July 2012 and can be found here.  There are a number of quite radical recommendations to be introduced in two phases by 2014.  Some of the main points are: A single Family Court to replace the existing range of magistrates’ courts, county courts and the High Court, which all deal with family cases. A 6 month time limit for concluding care proceedings over children, except in exceptional cases. Detailed arrangements for leadership and management of judiciary to ensure better case listing and more judicial continuity. Restrictions on the use of expert evidence. More standard case management...

Read More ›

Family Solicitors - Solicitors in Nottingham - Solicitors Nottingham - Criminal Defence Solicitors - Family Law Nottingham - Personal Injury Solicitors Nottingham - Mansfield - Derby - Child Law Solicitors - Solicitors Derby - Criminal Solicitors - Driving Offence Solicitors - Bhatia Best