The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides the UK Supreme Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland with the power to depart from retained EU case law after the end of the transition period. Draft regulations, introduced by the Government in October 2020, seek to extend this power to the Court of Appeal and other equivalent courts and tribunals. This article looks at the detail of the regulations and recent scrutiny that has taken place.

‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.

  • In Focus

    The marketing of construction products in the UK is regulated by EU law. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ensures that EU-derived domestic legislation and directly applicable EU law will continue to have effect after the end of the transition period. In 2019, regulations were introduced to ensure that UK legislation in this area could function effectively after the transition period. However, Northern Ireland will now remain subject to relevant EU laws as a result of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. This article looks at the draft statutory instrument that would amend the 2019 regulations and enable Northern Ireland to continue to meet EU law.

  • In Focus

    The UK legislation for the safety and quality of blood, organs, tissue and cells (including reproductive cells) is based on EU law. The European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 ensures that EU-derived domestic legislation will continue to have effect after the end of the transition period. In 2019, regulations were introduced to ensure that UK legislation in this area could function effectively after the transition period. However, Northern Ireland will remain subject to relevant EU laws as a result of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. This article looks at four statutory instruments that would amend the 2019 regulations and enable Northern Ireland to continue to meet EU law.

  • In Focus

    These regulations temporarily increase the amount of time that a defendant can be held in custody whilst awaiting a crown court trial. The Government said that the purpose of the regulations is to provide reassurance to victims and the public following the recent delays in trial listings caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The regulations came into force on 28 September 2020 and will expire on 28 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    The sentencing of offenders whose crimes lead to the death of an emergency service worker can vary depending upon the conviction received. The Harper’s Law campaign has called for life sentences to be imposed in instances where an emergency service worker is killed as a direct result of a crime. This article discusses life sentences, minimum terms, and recent calls for change to sentencing in England and Wales. This is due to be the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 1 October 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    This government bill seeks to increase awareness of domestic abuse, strengthen support for victims and improve the effectiveness of the justice system. The bill includes provisions on several areas. It includes a new definition of domestic abuse, extra protection for victims and witnesses in court, and codifies the principle that consent to offences involving violent or abusive behaviour is not a defence.

  • In Focus

    The use and effectiveness of short prison sentences of under 12 months has been debated in recent years. This article discusses calls for reform of short prison sentences, in addition to the Government’s commitments in this area. Short prison sentences are due to be the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 29 June 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    This Law Commission bill seeks to consolidate existing sentencing legislation into a single sentencing statute. The Sentencing Bill is a consolidation bill that will introduce the sentencing code. The aim of the code is to provide a clear and comprehensive source of sentencing procedure legislation for the public, the judiciary and practitioners.

  • In Focus

    The law on abortion in Northern Ireland changed on 22 October 2019 following the enactment of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. The Act required the UK Government to introduce regulations that would provide lawful access to abortion services and repeal certain offences relating to abortion in Northern Ireland. This article discusses the Government’s statutory instrument that would introduce such regulations.

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