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HUMANITIES SCIENCE POLITICS

Science, People & Politics ISSN 1751-598X

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29 | FROM BRITISH COURTS | 30

The murder weapon was not recovered, and the judge said she was sure it was removed from
the scene. She also could not be sure who struck the fatal knife blow. The jury's guilty convic-
tions reflect that the prosecution had succeeded in its case that there was a plan and joint intent.
As she explained her sentencing the judge clarified which defence arguments she rejected.

After sending down the convicted men her ladyship went on to thank the family and extended
family of brothers and cousin's for their dignity during the nine week case.

And now at last the reality spilled from the families in words and controlled anger, in emotion and
in words shouted in pain for the Court to hear.

The judge commended Detective Chief Inspector Swift, Detective Sergeant Marcus Dawson,
DC Price and family liaison officers in the case. HG

I began following the trial on 6th January, 2017, just as the prosecution was closing its case, and
the defence opened theirs. ||

Litigants in person, and other matters, views from
the retiring Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

tigants in person are a problem across the whole judicial system of England and Wales, said Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, during a press conference on 30th November, 2016. Legal aid cuts for family disputes exacerbate the problem in Family Courts, he told reporters, and litigants in person take up too much time in the Appeal Court.
See press conference transcript:
https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/lcj-annual-press-conference-2016-
transcript-1.pdfpdf-1.pdf


Nevertheless, Lord Thomas does not think that payment to non-lawyers is the answer. He ex-
pressed concern in the context of crime and immigration, two fields in which people are particu-
larly vulnerable, and where poor law has severe consequences. Lord Thomas said there is too
much risk of non-lawyers giving advice someone wants rather than needs to hear.

Other questions taken by Lord Thomas addressed the need for realistically tough alternates to
custody, if an offender's crime is on the cusp of having passed the custody threshold. He was
neutral on the topic of whether an offender carrying out a community sentence should wear dis-
tinct clothing. It is not part of British tradition, he said, but told reporters there was a debate to be
had on the subject. He also thought it unacceptable if a community sentence led to an offender
thinking he/ she had "got away" with it.

At the beginning of November, Lord Thomas, who leaves office in 2017 under current rules gov-
erning the retirement age of judges, had released his annual report. The primacy of common law
and stature of the judiciary should be maintained, he wrote, and the constitutional role of the
judiciary be better understood. In [2017] UKSC-1, reported on p27 of this section, the constitu-
tional relationship of judiciary and executive in the context of a Crown act of state is touched on.

Lord Thomas also write diversity needs to be strengthened, and a proper balance struck
between private fees and State funding. HG ||

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Issue 1 (Jan-Mar), 2017............................................Science, People & Politics ISSN 1751-598X print and online


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Published Friday 24th February, 2017,
nominally.
Completed 9th April, 2017.

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