David Hardstaff

Coronavirus: Adapting jury trials in a time of crisis

On 24 April 2020, the Lord Chief Justice announced the establishment of a judicial working group to consider ways to re-start some jury trials once it is safe to do so. The group includes representatives from across the criminal justice system. The development comes a month after the announcement on 23 March 2020, that all new jury trials would be postponed, effectively putting a brake on almost all contested matters in the Crown Court. Since then, the work of the Crown Court has continued to build up, prompting fears that the system will be unable to cope with the volume of work when trials eventually recommence.

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Coronavirus: Access to Legal Advice Whilst Under Arrest

Following a fortnight of unprecedented measures, culminating in the royal ascent of the wide-ranging Coronavirus Act 2020, legal representatives, as with most professionals, have been forced to radically change the way that they work to comply with the government’s guidance and now law. As many adapt to new ways of working, including working remotely and through making good use of technology, the business of arrested suspects facing interview continues.

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Publication of revised Code for Crown Prosecutors: A steer in the right direction or a missed opportunity for radical change?

BCL Partner, Ellen Peart and associate David Hardstaff, consider recent revisions to the Crown Prosecution Service’s Code for Crown Prosecutors and ask whether more needs to be done to reform charging practice if the challenges facing the criminal justice system are to be met.

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