26 March 2020
Last week saw the first steps towards a national lockdown when on the night of Friday 20 March the Prime Minister “told” certain businesses to close. What powers does the government have to do this? The answer is to be found here in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, which contains broad but not unlimited powers to make regulations to protect health.
25 March 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced businesses all over the world to adapt to a new way of working, practically overnight. The criminal courts are no different and as an essential public service it is imperative that technology is utilised to ensure that they can continue to function in the midst of the crisis. The emergency Coronavirus Bill (‘the Bill’) is set to introduce a number of new measures to try and keep the criminal courts running in these unprecedented times.
25 March 2020
On 19 March 2020, Crimeline published the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s strategic overview and high-level guidance for forces concerning custody function during the COVID 19 pandemic (Operation Talla). The document is essential reading and should be considered in conjunction with the most relevant provisions of the PACE Codes of Practice. The NPCC’s recognises the diverse nature of custody estates and notes that Forces should develop local policies. However, the document should provide the framework to ensure a consistency of standards.
18 March 2020
At the time of this blog, according to officials, the criminal justice system continues to operate ‘as normal’. Whilst it is to be expected that non-essential trials will likely be delayed, certain components of the justice system cannot simply be deferred - crime happens no less in times of pandemic. Police custody is one such area where the wheels will need to continue to turn regardless of COVID-19.