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The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 10th December 2018

The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 10th December 2018

Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week:

Criminal

High Court Judge Refuses to Order Amendment of Coroners Report

Reported by Anna-Mei Harvey

The application to have the coroner’s report amended, made by Poppi Worthington’s father, was refused yesterday. The application was filed by Mr Worthington in an attempt to remove details of sexual abuse suffered by his daughter, shortly before her death, from the report.

Paul Worthington, who was never charged with any offence in relation to his 13 month old daughter’s death, refused on over two hundred and fifty occasions to answer questions relating to Poppi’s death during the hearing as to avoid incriminating himself.

Despite never having been charged, Mr Worthington applied under judicial review for the report to be altered to exclude details of how his daughter was “anally penetrated prior to her death.” The report completed by David Ll. Roberts – H.M. Senior Coroner for Cumbria followed the second inquest in to Poppi’s death.

Many, including Poppi’s mother see Mr Worthington’s application as a move to have his name officially cleared. Such a move has been made possible given the CPS’ conclusion that they are unable to bring any action against him due to errors made by police in their initial investigations.

Mrs Justice Farbey who heard yesterday’s appeal concluded that coroner’s approach “cannot be faulted” and instead ordered the 50 year old to pay court costs. This ruling mirrored the findings of two earlier High Court judgments.

Read more at Sky News and the Telegraph.

See the inquest here.

Legalisation of Cannabis

Legalisation of Cannabis is Urged by an Ex-Minister

Reported by Zara Smith

Many countries, such as Mexico and Luxembourg already have planned to legalise recreational cannabis use. Canada has already legalisesed the use of cannabis. New Zealand is considering a referendum to allow the use of cannabis. So Norman Lumb, an ex-minister, has also voiced to other MP’s that he too believes cannabis should be legalised.

Despite efforts, the House of Commons rejected the bill by 66 votes to 52.

Lamb stated that his bill offered a “more rational alternative to this mess”.

Mr Lamb has spoken about how the use of cannabis has eased the pain of some of his North Norfolk constituents who face health problems themselves. Lamb said about one of them, that: “Cannabis offers him essential pain relief but he has no option but to buy it illegally. He knows, at any time, he could face arrest and prosecution.” – essentially saying it’s worth the risk to ease the pain.

Mr Lamb did not just propose for legalisation of cannabis, but also for laws on strict regulation on the growing, selling and marketing of the drug. He stated the legalisation would only be for adults.

Medicinal use of cannabis oil has been highlighted in 2018 by the campaign of Hannah Deacon after her petition collected 718,543 signatures, her son has epilepsy and she took him to the Netherlands, where the cannabis treatment is legal. She now campaigns for wider use of cannabis as a treatment.

Despite this, there has been huge conflict with Lamb’s proposal by other MP’s. Steve Double Conservative MP “I have seen very close up and first-hand, the lives that it wrecks, the impact on mental health that it has, and the cost that it not only has to the individuals but to their families, to their communities and to wider society.”

For more information, read here.

Sexual Offences/Mental Health

14-Month Waiting List for Sexual Assault Victims to Receive Counselling

Reported by Paige Waters

Is it fair to say the country is letting down sexual assault victims? To satisfy a conviction is extremely hard and challenging for the victims as they are torn apart during trial, yet they are now waiting 14 months for counselling.

The lack of funding is having an extreme impact on the service they are receiving as specialist support services struggle to cope with unprecedented demand. Thereby, a report by the all-party parliamentary group have said the services for victims could cease to exist due to the lack of funding and number of people needing help.

Following this year’s statistics, it has denoted that the Rape Crisis services were used by 78,461 people. This is a massive 17% increase on the previous year. The discussion and stereotype of sexually assault victims have slowly been changing in a positive way which allows victims to seek help without feeling guilt. However, as the change and victims speaking out changes for a positive, the amount of help they can receive is abysmal.

They need to be seen as a person who needs help, not another person on a waiting list.

MPS have attempted to fix the problem by highlighting the use of short-term grants and contracts. The report has stated that “as it stands, the governments commitment in the 2016 violence against women and girls strategy that by 2020 ‘no victim will be turned away’ will not be achieved.”

Charities supporting victims, both sexual assault victims and the violence against women and girls need help. It will ultimately fall on the government to supply additional funding to allow this to be achieved.

We can not let them down.

Read more here.

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