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Martin, Johnston & Socha Blog

Criminal Law news & updates from Martin, Johnstone & Socha's expert criminal defence solicitors.

The 'most comprehensive package ever' to tackle domestic abuse announced by Government

On Monday 21st January 2019, the landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill was published, aimed at pursuing offenders and supporting victims and their families. The Bill comes after it is revealed domestic abuse costs the country £66 billion a year and is said to provide a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to transform how the UK responds to domestic violence.

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Martin, Johnston & Socha Nominated for Criminal Defence Firm of the Year at Scottish Legal Awards 2019


We are proud to announce that Martin, Johnston & Socha have received a nomination for Criminal Defence Firm of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Legal Awards. This distinction is a welcome recognition to the dedication of our specialist team of criminal defence solicitors and we look forward to the results which will be announced at the awards ceremony on 21st March.

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Study recommends ban on declaring criminal convictions on job applications

A study conducted by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) has found that having to declare criminal convictions on job applications often deters candidates from applying, and is not the most effective way of predicting the risk of reoffending.

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£8.5 million investment into services for victims of rape and sexual assault

The Scottish Government has announced £8.5 million in funding over three years to improve services for sexual crime victims, such as forensic medical examinations.

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Slight rise in domestic abuse cases on previous year

The Scottish Government has released a new report that highlights the characteristics of victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse acts in Scotland. During the 2017-18 period, 59,541 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by the police in Scotland; an increase of one per cent on 2016-17.

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Festive Opening Hours at Martin, Johnston & Socha

As the holiday approaches we would like to take this opportunity to inform valued clients and potential new customers of our Christmas opening hours - we will be closed on the following dates -:

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69 Hits

Proposed culpable homicide bill

Claire Baker MSP has lodged a proposal for a Bill to amend the law of culpable homicide. According to Baker, “the reform of the law of culpable homicide is overdue” because it remains challenging to hold large or medium-size organisations to account.

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Homicide in Scotland at an all-time low

The Scottish Government released a statistical bulletin on the homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2017-18. The bulletin accounts for the number of cases involving homicide but not the number of victims in each case.

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Equalities and Human Rights Committee seek views on Equal Protection Bill

In October 2018, one year after it was initially proposed by John Finnie MSP, the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill reached the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament, which is leading the scrutiny of the Bill.

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90 Hits

Fewer robberies happen in public spaces, a new study finds

A new report carried out by the Scottish Government looked at data on robbery in the past decade.

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Vulnerable Witnesses Bill proposed to the Scottish Parliament

A new Vulnerable Witnesses Bill has been proposed to the Scottish Parliament and, if accepted by the Parliament, the new legislation would enable the statements of child witnesses to be pre-recorded in advance of the trial. Most recently, the Faculty of Advocates responded to the bill, claiming they had ‘no opposition’ to the introduction of the rule.

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Sex offenders are the least likely to re-offend, according to new Scottish data

According to the Scottish Government’s statistical report on the criminal justice system, both the rate of reconviction and the average number of reconvictions per person have been slowly decreasing since 2003. The statistics are based on the data of people who were released from custody in 2015-16 or received a non-custodial sentence during that period.

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High-value fraud losses down by £2 million in one year

Businesses in Scotland suffered losses of £1.8 million in the first half of 2018 compared to losses of £3.8 million in the same period last year, according to new data from KPMG. The report, which measures alleged fraud cases with losses of £100,00 or more within the UK courts, shows that Scotland is doing more favourably compared to other UK regions where fraud losses are on the rise. 

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More funding available to prosecute sexual offences in Scotland

A recent BBC article reported that the prosecution service is to be given a cash injection of £1.1m by the Scottish Government, following an increase in the number of sexual offences reported in Scotland. The extra money, which will be given to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), aims to improve communication between the prosecution service and alleged victims and minimise delays in sexual offence cases progressing to court.

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Criminal Justice Disability Project Report Published

Marking the conclusion of a landmark equality project in Scotland, the final report of the Criminal Justice Disability Project (CJDP) was published on 31 July 2018.

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EU Proposes Tougher Measures on Confiscation of Assets

The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has adopted new rules to speed up the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets across the EU. 

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Fall in Reported Offensive Weapon-Related Crime

There has been a fall in the number of crimes involving the handling of offensive weapons over the last ten years in Scotland, according to a new report from the Scottish Government. 

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Views Sought on Vulnerable Witnesses Bill

A call for evidence has been launched over proposed new legislation that aims to provide vulnerable witnesses and victims of crime with a better experience of the criminal justice system in Scotland. 

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227 Hits

Survey Finds Lack of Awareness of Penalties for Illegal Mobile Phone Use

A new study by the RAC has found that more than a year on from the introduction of tougher penalties for using a handheld phone at the wheel, nearly two-thirds of drivers (64%) remain unaware what the consequences of breaking the 15 year-old law are. 

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Brexit Poses Challenges to Cross-Border Crime Co-operation

A new paper has highlighted the possible “complex and far-reaching” challenges that Scotland’s police and prosecutors could be presented with when tackling cross-border crime after Brexit.

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