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Small fall in reconviction rates

Proportion and frequency of reconvictions both in decline
The level of reoffending in Scotland is in decline, according to figures published today by the Chief Statistician.

Covering those who offended in 2007-08 and 2008-09, the data show a 1.7% drop in the two year reconviction rate (reoffending within two years of release from custody or imposition of a non-custodial sentence) from 44.1% for the previous year to 42.4% for the 2007-08 group, the lowest level observed since 1997-98.


Hidden assets in divorce story: Britain's top divorce lawyer comments

Almost half of family lawyers believe that those embroiled in 'big money' divorce cases are likely to conceal assets during proceedings following a key court ruling that prevents the use of secretly obtained documents in divorce cases.

Grant Thornton, the professional services firm, questioned 101 lawyers for its annual matrimonial study and found that 48 per cent believe that people were either definitely or probably likely to conceal assets as a result of a landmark Court of Appeal ruling last year. The ruling centred on the case of Lisa Tchenguiz, who has filed for divorce from her husband Vivian Imerman, a former owner of Del Monte foods.


I predict a riot – about sentencing

By Felicity Gerry, Barrister

As David Cameron calls for tougher sentences for rioters and looters, never has it been more clearly demonstrated both that the public don’t understand the legal process and that the tick box guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council are a waste of time. As advocacy sinks in the mire of “starting points” and “features” rather than human interest, judges will be lambasted anyway for trying to impose suitable sentences. As for the rioters, the public would lock them all up and throw away the key. The Sentencing Council tries to explain why sentences differ but eventually all everyone will argue about is whether the sentences were right.


You could not make it up but some did

Insurers are detecting more fraudulent claims than ever: over 2,500 worth £18 million every week

A gymnast with back trouble, a flying toilet roll holder, an invented wedding engagement, a fake photograph and an invisible wall were among the record number of fraudulent insurance claims detected by insurers in 2010 according to figures released today by the ABI.

The figures highlight that in 2010:

• Insurers uncovered 133,000 fraudulent insurance claims - 2,500 every week - up 9% on 2009. The value of these claims was £919 million, also up 9% on the previous year. Over the last five years both the number and overall value of insurance frauds detected have risen by over 100%.
• The most common frauds involved home insurance with 66,000 bogus or exaggerated claims detected, followed by dishonest motor insurance frauds with 40,000 frauds uncovered. Motor frauds were the most costly, totalling £466 million.
• The value of savings from detected frauds represented 5% of all claims, compared to 4% on 2009

Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 11:42


Should expert witnesses be immune from being sued?

It may be time to end the immunity from liability of expert witnesses, writes Simon Mills

Expert Witnesses are an important and somewhat exceptional part of the legal process. They are important because many cases depend on expert witness evidence in order to get to the truth of matters.

In criminal cases, for example, expert forensic evidence can be vital, while in personal injuries cases, expert actuarial evidence can help guide the court to the final value of any award of damages.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 11:43