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England: “Nightingale Courts” Aim to Relieve Pandemic Backlog of Court Cases

(Mar. 29, 2021) England’s court administration agency, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), has introduced additional venues to be used as temporary courts to ease pressure on the courts and clear a backlog of cases. The backlog was caused in part by the closure of half the courts across England in March 2020 in […]

England: Permission to Appeal Granted in Case Requiring Court Order for Puberty-Blocking Treatment for Transgender Teenagers

(Mar. 19, 2021) On January 18, 2021, the High Court in England granted the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust permission to appeal a High Court ruling that children under 16 cannot give informed consent to receive puberty-blocking treatments, which effectively stopped both treatment and referrals for children under the age of 16 to the trust’s […]

England: Government Introduces Law to Allow More Flexible Proxy Voting in Local Elections Due to COVID-19

(Mar. 18, 2021) In England on February 23, 2021, the Representation of the People (Proxy Vote Applications) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were laid before Parliament. If enacted, the regulations will enable individuals who are self-quarantining or “shielding” due to COVID-19 to vote in local elections, scheduled for May 6, 2021, via a last minute proxy vote […]

England: Restrictions on Privacy in Parole Hearings Loosened

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 8, 2021, England’s government announced its intention to amend rule 15 of the Parole Board Rules 2019, which provide that, with limited exceptions, all parole hearings should be held in private, to provide transparency and confidence in the parole system. Changes to the rules will end what is effectively a […]

England: Government Proposes Ban on Housing Children Under 16 in Unregulated Accommodations

(Mar. 11, 2021) In response to a consultation (survey) launched on February 12, 2021, on the provision of unregulated accommodations for children in care, England’s government recently announced its intention to amend regulations to prohibit children under 16 years old from being placed in independent or semi-independent accommodations. This type of accommodation is not required […]

England: Proposals Introduced to Reform Pre-charge Bail to Provide Better Protection to Victims of Violent Crime

(Mar. 1, 2021) On January 14, 2021, the U.K. government published its response to a consultation into the use of pre-charge bail amid concern that it was not being used appropriately because of a “presumption against its use,” meaning that the police must use it only when necessary. Most notably, suspects were being released after […]

England: New Restrictions for UK and Irish Travelers Returning from High-Risk COVID-19 Countries

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 15, 2021, England established increased testing, stronger enforcement, and more stringent quarantine requirements to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The U.K. government banned entry to all but U.K. and Irish citizens and residents from 33 countries considered “high risk” for transmitting new variants of COVID-19. These countries are […]

United Kingdom: Proposed Regulations Would Provide Amnesty and Compensation for Weapons Prohibited under 2019 Law

(Oct. 21, 2020) The draft of new regulations aimed at helping to ensure the safe surrender of weapons whose possession was made unlawful under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 was laid before the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Parliament on June 9, 2020. If approved, the Surrender of Offensive Weapons (Compensation) Regulations 2020 will set out arrangements […]

England and Wales: New Proposals Would Give Police Targeted Stop-and-Search Powers to Tackle Knife Crimes

(Oct. 8, 2020) On September 14, 2020, the government published a public consultation to receive opinions about the design of its newly proposed Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs), which aim to tackle knife crime across England and Wales. The proposed SVROs would create a new stop-and-search power enabling the police to take an “intelligence based, […]