Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Criminals could walk free if not charged in 96 hours - really?

This ruling announced today could have massive implications. Made by a district judge at Salford Magistrates' Court and backed by the High Court, the ruling means an end to the practice of releasing people on bail and calling them back for further questioning later - a common practice in most major inquiries.

Police forces can no longer put anyone out on bail for more than 96 hours without either being in a position to charge or release them. After the four days is up, officers can no longer question suspects and can only rearrest them if they have new evidence, the ruling says.
Apparently police chiefs have been left baffled by the "bizarre" ruling and both the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are currently considering the ramifications for forces across England and Wales.

Surely the ruling will be overturned otherwise it will change the whole face of the justice system. There will be chaos, with many cases having to be shelved, to the massive to distress of victims. My guess is emergency legislation will have to be put in place. Let's wait and see.

Friday, 24 June 2011

New "Reasonable Force" Definition to help Homeowners and Smallshopkeepers?

Prime Minister David Cameron this week vowed to bring in stronger measures to protect homeowners defending their property.
He said: "We will put beyond doubt that homeowners and small shopkeepers who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their properties will not be prosecuted."

It will be interesting to see how this legislation develops and how the definition of 'reasonable force' pans out, as this, it seems to me will be the stumbling block

Already an extreme case has been highlighted today where a burglar has been stabbed by a homeowner in Salford near Manchester and subsequently died from his injuries. The home owner is in custody. See  Surely it will still have to be assessed on a case by case basis, depending on the threat and the action taken in defence.

For more information about Property Law and Disputes please visit

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Interesting COI decision

Interesting decision to close the Government's Central Office of Information (COI) today - surely this will leave most of the government's communications in the hands of media agencies who are certain to be more expensive than in-house professionals - or perhaps the Government thinks specialist agencies may do a better job!

Sadly it has still left 400 people without a job and with very little warning of what was going on. Again as has been demonstated by Saab today, employees should ensure that they are protected and covered where possible for redundancy situations, whether that be through an employment contract or through a Union.

For further details on this story see

Find out objective feedback on employers by their employees at Employer-Information

Sad news for Saab today

Sad news for Saab today. Lets hope the business can come to some kind of agreement quickly for short term funding for the sake of its employees, who aren't getting paid.

Saab's owner, Swedish Automobile NV, formerly known as Spyker Cars NV, and Saab are still in discussions with various parties to obtain short-term funding, including the potential proceeds from a sale and lease-back of Saab's real estate, it said.

It just goes to show how volotile business can be and how as an employee you should ensure that you are protected and covered where possible for any given situation, whether that be through your employment contract or your Union.

For further details on this story see

David Green, managing partner MTA Solicitors:

For advice on employment law issues please visit

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Social Media and the Courts

Dave Green, Managing Partner at MTA:

Social media and the courts is obviously becoming a real issue. With super-injunctions being broken on Twitter and now a Juror about to be sentenced for contempt of court for contacting a defendant on facebook, what does the future hold for monitoring this kind of behaviour in and around the court process?

These are the first people in the UK ever to be prosecuted for contempt of court using the internet and its seriousness is emphasized by the seniority of the judges involved, led by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.

Social media obviously has its place but now the lines between social contact and business use on these sites is becoming blurred, social media needs to be used wisely.

Businesses and this includes Lawyers need to be aware of its uses and its pitfalls and dangers. It is all very well for the legal profession to get up to date with using social media, as we are, but we need to be sure that it is used responsibly, the same as the general public need to be aware of the impact of what they do and say online.

The Facebook juror is about to be made an example of when she is sentenced this week, but how much of this has gone on before and how can it be monitored going forward?

It will be interesting to hear the Lord Chief Justice's summing up this week and the precedents set by this case. 

MTA has a twitter account that we try to keep updated with law related points of interest - follow us at @mtasolicitors. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Would you know your rights at work if you suddenly found yourself in the throws of redundancy proceedings, discovered you were pregnant or quite simply thought you were working too many hours or travelling more than you thought you should be?

There have been some big changes to  Employment Law  this year, which every employee should be aware of, in order to know their statutory rights at work.

·         phasing out of the default retirement age of 65
·         abolition of the statutory retirement procedure
·         an increase to statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay
·         additional paternity leave

In these times of economic instability it is a good idea to review or at least be aware of the terms and conditions of your employment contract, so that you are prepared for any eventuality.
Julie Edmonds, employment law litigator at MTA Solicitors outlines the key issues and the pitfalls to look out for...