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Martin, Johnston & Socha Blog

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

Review of The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act

In April 2019, ground breaking legislation criminalising psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour came into force in Scotland. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 has now been in effect for six months and has been supported by a widespread public awareness campaign to encourage understanding of the type of behaviour which may amount to domestic abuse under the new laws.

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First public consultation of its kind to 'demystify' Scotland's sentencing process

The Scottish Sentencing Council will reveal how judges arrive at their sentencing decisions and will ask criminal justice organisations, charities, academics, and the wider public if they agree.

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A quarter of millennials look at social media while driving

Recent research from Privilege Car Insurance revealed that 23 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds cannot resist using their phones to check their social media accounts when behind the wheel. This dangerous obsession with mobiles has also led to 28 per cent of millennials reading and sending text messages while driving.

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Firearm offences in Scotland at a record low

According to the latest data, there were 348 firearm offences recorded in Scotland during 2017-18, a drop of one per cent from the previous year (350 offences) and 13 per cent from 2015-16 (402 offences); the lowest figure since records began in 1980.

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Police Scotland announces new campaign to combat online child abuse

#StopItNow is the new hard-hitting campaign from Police Scotland that directly addresses predators who attempt to engage with children online for sexual purposes.

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Panel to review how sexual offence trials are conducted in Scotland

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, has commissioned a review of how Scottish courts conduct rape and other sexual offence cases. Lord Carloway hopes to develop proposals on how to improve the way cases are handled for complainers and witnesses, without compromising the rights of the accused.

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Domestic abusers to be heard in Glasgow's Alcohol Court

From next month, the Glasgow Sheriff Court Alcohol Court is to deal with domestic abuse cases in which alcohol ‘significantly contributed to the offending’.

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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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238 Hits

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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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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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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