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1
Latest developments in Law / How small law firms can innovate
« on: Yesterday at 12:33:51 PM »
Innovation does not always require spending enormous amounts of money or investing in high-end tech products, writes Marianne Marchesi.

The legal industry is currently going through perhaps one of the most intense times of disruption. As a small law firm, it can be easy to think that the ability to innovate and capitalise on this disruption is restricted to the “top end” of town – where access to resources, funding and technology is far greater.

However, innovation does not always mean spending huge sums of money, nor does it necessarily equate to developing the latest high-tech products. The beauty of being a small law firm is the agility that comes along with this, and therefore the accessibility to innovation in its many forms. Below are some areas where I believe small law firms can capitalise on innovation, as well as some action points.

Business models

Small law firms have the unique opportunity to reinvent their business models and flip the traditional way of legal practice on its head.

If we look at some of the key elements of a business model, such as value proposition and revenue streams, these are areas that are in themselves ripe for disruption. Pricing, for example, is a key area in which small law firms have a significant advantage in being able to innovate compared to more traditional legal firms. Alternative pricing models such as fixed fees and retainers are proving to be an especially effective way of standing out in the market.

Innovating your business model is ultimately about changing the way that we think about these key elements, and focusing on maximising value and maximising the services that we’re providing to our clients.

Some questions to consider when innovating your business model include:

1. Is your current business model working, i.e. what client problem does it solve?
2. How does it make money for you?
3. How does it make life easier for you and your clients?

Work culture

The legal industry is affected by a number of factors that can impact on mental health – such as billable hour targets, lack of flexible working styles and a general reluctance to speak about health issues.

Again, largely in part due to the agility enjoyed by small law firms, the possibilities in reinventing your work culture are endless. Some of the initiatives that I’ve seen small law firms implement, and that Legalite itself has implemented, include genuinely flexible work policies, dog-friendly offices and health and wellbeing seminars.

A key way to innovate your work culture is to involve your team in decision-making. The diversity of ideas, and feeling of empowerment that comes with contributing to a firm’s work culture, can in itself spur ideas.

Speak to your team to come up with three ideas to improve your work culture.

Services

Innovation in the legal industry is often about making services accessible. Coupled with alternative pricing models, small law firms can deliver legal services in ways which have been completely unheard of until recently.

For example, at Legalite we introduced a new service called “Legalite Counsel”. This offers clients bespoke in-house solutions by way of an outsourced legal counsel service on a retainer basis. Services such as these allow lawyers to truly act as an extension of their clients’ teams and deliver strategic advice to complement legal services.

The emphasis on online legal services also seems to be growing. There are numerous platforms available now which don’t require huge upfront costs and are themselves quite accessible.

Pick one service stream. How might you deliver this differently?

Marketing

Lastly, small law firms (and in particular, NewLaw firms) aren’t traditional, so it doesn’t make sense to rely on traditional marketing. In most cases, traditional marketing is expensive and even ignored by potential customers.

It’s often said that customers do business with people they know, like and trust. So, innovating in marketing can often be a matter of developing a rapport with your potential clients. For example, these days, social media is one of the biggest sources of information for customers, and there is ample opportunity to truly stand out as a law firm on social media.

Adding value to your clients can also be a simple but effective way of marketing. For instance, presenting on your area of expertise through webinars or thought leadership, or taking steps to follow up with clients long after a matter is done.

What is one thing you can do in the next week to add value to your clients?
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/sme-law/26733-how-small-law-firms-can-innovate

2
Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground

Edward Snowden
The US, UK and Australia are taking on Facebook in a bid to undermine the only method that protects our personal information
‘If internet traffic is unencrypted, any government, company, or criminal that happens to notice it can – and, in fact, does – steal a copy of it, secretly recording your information for ever.’ Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters
In every country of the world, the security of computers keeps the lights on, the shelves stocked, the dams closed, and transportation running. For more than half a decade, the vulnerability of our computers and computer networks has been ranked the number one risk in the US Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment – that’s higher than terrorism, higher than war. Your bank balance, the local hospital’s equipment, and the 2020 US presidential election, among many, many other things, all depend on computer safety.
And yet, in the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe.
In the simplest terms, encryption is a method of protecting information, the primary way to keep digital communications safe. Every email you write, every keyword you type into a search box – every embarrassing thing you do online – is transmitted across an increasingly hostile internet. Earlier this month the US, alongside the UK and Australia, called on Facebook to create a “backdoor”, or fatal flaw, into its encrypted messaging apps, which would allow anyone with the key to that backdoor unlimited access to private communications. So far, Facebook has resisted this.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/15/encryption-lose-privacy-us-uk-australia-facebook

4
Child poverty, domestic violence and mental health will be the priorities in New Zealand’s “wellbeing budget”, the finance minister has announced, with the nation declaring itself the first in the world to measure success by its people’s wellbeing.

On Tuesday Grant Robertson said that despite New Zealand’s “rockstar” economy many New Zealanders were being left behind, with home ownership at a 60-year low, the suicide rate climbing and homelessness and food aid grants on the rise.

According to predictions by the International Monetary Fund, the New Zealand economy is expected to grow at around 2.5 % in 2019 and 2.9% in 2020. But Robertson emphasised many New Zealanders were not benefitting in their daily lives.

Although comparable countries such as the UK have begun to measure the national rate of wellbeing, New Zealand is the first western country to design its entire budget around wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing.
New Zealand 'people's' budget sees Ardern put billions more into health and education
Read more

“Sure, we had – and have – GDP growth rates that many other countries around the world envied, but for many New Zealanders, this GDP growth had not translated into higher living standards or better opportunities,” Robertson said. “How could we be a rockstar, they asked, with homelessness, child poverty and inequality on the rise?”

The 2019 budget will be handed down on 30 May.

“For me, wellbeing means people living lives of purpose, balance and meaning to them, and having the capabilities to do so,” said Robertson.

“This gap between rhetoric and reality, between haves and have-nots, between the elites and the people, has been exploited by populists around the globe.”

Robertson cited a cultural rehabilitation program for Māori high-security prisoners, aimed at reducing high rates of recidivism and reoffending, as the kind of project that would be prioritised in the budget.

The opposition National party has criticised the budget as being out of touch with New Zealanders’ values, and said what Kiwis really needed to improve their lives was better infrastructure and public services.

“According to this framework the government’s put in place, making a new friend is almost twice as valuable as not having to go to the emergency department,” said the National party’s spokeswoman on finance, Amy Adams, earlier in the year.

“Or getting on better with your neighbours is twice as valuable as avoiding diabetes – I just think it starts to become a nonsense,”

The Kingdom of Bhutan kickstarted the global wellbeing focus with the introduction of the Gross National Happiness Index in 2008, measuring things such as psychological health, living standards, community vitality and environmental and cultural resilience to inform government policy making.

But despite the index, the country remains a “least developed country” and the unemployment rate is rising. Bhutan also ranks 96 spots below the world’s happiest country, Finland, as defined by the UN in its annual World Happiness Report.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/14/new-zealands-world-first-wellbeing-budget-to-focus-on-poverty-and-mental-health

5
University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP), Volume-4 Issue-1

Dear Sir/ Madam,

We are pleased to inform you that the Department of Law and Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific (UAP) is going to publish volume # 4 issue # 1 of the University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP). Original research based articles in law and policy areas are invited for publication in the upcoming issue. Please submit your manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief Email: UAPJLP@UAP-BD.EDU within July 31, 2019.   For details, you may visit the following links:

 

1. Guidelines for submission: http://uap-bd.edu/lhr/journal/submission-guidelines/

2. Latest Issue: http://uap-bd.edu/lhr/journal/volume-3-issue-1/

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dr. Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky

Editor-in Chief, UAPJLP

University of Asia Pacific

Dhaka- Bangladesh

6
Bangladesh Taxes Bar Association / Trainee form
« on: November 03, 2018, 04:57:59 PM »
file:///C:/Users/ADMINI~1/AppData/Local/Temp/Intimation_Form-1.pdf

10
How to turn packed lunches into winter warmers
With a bit of home prep and an office kettle, there is a wealth of hot, healthy grub you can make at work, from noodle soups to chorizo couscous

Noodle soup in a jar. Photograph: Matt Russell for the Guardian
It has abruptly turned cold out and, just like that, not only are your socks too thin and your trousers too short, but your shop-bought BLT or leafy salad is decidedly not as warm and comforting as you need it to be. Office tea points being what they are, even a microwave might be too much to expect. But with a bowl with a lid, a bit of home prep – not more than you might for a standard, cold lunchbox – and a kettle, there is a wealth of hot grub you can make at work.
First things first, invest in a good, lidded, heatproof container. A metal camping pot, an ovenproof glass bowl, even an extra-large travel mug will do the trick.
Next, for food safety reasons, make sure anything you take to work is cool before you pack it. And, if you put it in the fridge when you get there, be sure to take it out ahead of time to come back up to room temperature before you use it. Any modicum of comfort from a swig of hot soup will be ruined if you chew on something cold.
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Last, be bold and try new things. The recipes below are suggestions; they can be easily modified to suit what is in your fridge and store cupboard (they also have been given a smell factor, in case you are worried you might upset your colleagues). Quickly rehydrated noodles sit well in almost any soup, as does a bowlful of cooked pasta, rice or other grain. And soup bases come in many stripes: miso paste goes just as well with chilli (harissa, gochujang, sriracha, hot sauce, aleppo chilli flakes) as it does with tahini. The soft-boiled onsen tamago egg technique here is Japanese, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work in all sorts of other contexts: as an improvised eggs benedict, atop the bowl of chorizo couscous or indeed any of the soups and soup noodle bowlfuls below.
It’s best to let each bowlful sit a few minutes before eating, to allow the flavours to meld. And remember that garnishes, as always, are your friend: a slow-cooked stew is obviously going to be more satisfying than something rustled up in minutes at the office sink, but a sprinkling of crunch, spice or zest will go a long way to making up for what is lost in the haste. And besides, isn’t eating anything warm in the cold always a joy?
Cheat’s version of Ottolenghi’s chorizo and fennel couscous
At home, fry in olive oil 100g chorizo, 1 shallot, sliced, and ¼ bulb fennel, thinly sliced, with a pinch each of dried thyme and paprika, the zest of ¼ orange, one minced garlic clove and some fennel seeds; season with salt and pepper. Add in a handful of cherry tomatoes and cook until soft. Decant to a Tupperware. At work, mix ½ chicken stock cube with 240ml of hot water and pour over 180g of dried couscous, cover immediately and leave for five minutes until absorbed. Mix into the chorizo mix.
Smell factor: 5/10
Leek and Marmite soup
Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing, queens of the tasty lunch box, suggest frying a very finely sliced leek in olive oil with a sprig of rosemary and a crushed garlic clove, until soft and slightly caramelised. Decant into a Tupperware. At lunch, mix ½ chicken stock cube and ½ tsp Marmite into 500ml boiling water and pour over the leeks. Cover for five minutes then eat with a buttered crusty roll for dunking.
Smell factor: 4/10
Korean soup base
At home, fry up thinly sliced bacon, chicken or beef, or a serving of cubed semi-hard tofu, with one clove of garlic and one small knob of ginger, both minced, one dollop of gochujang chilli paste, some sesame oil and a dollop of miso, and adjust the flavour with soy sauce and sugar. Decant to a Tupperware and top with some parboiled sliced veg (green beans, asparagus, broccoli florets, carrot) and some finely sliced spring onion. At work, add 400ml boiling water and mix well.
Smell factor: 5/10
Ochazuke
Pack a serving of steamed short-grain rice with shredded salmon (grilled or poached) or tofu with steamed veg, and season with salt and soy sauce to taste. Top with a small handful of crushed Japanese rice crackers, a salted pickled umeboshi plum and a large pinch of finely sliced nori seaweed. At work, pour a mugful of green tea over the mix.
Smell factor: 3/10
Miso soup
At home, in a heatproof lidded jar, place 1 tbsp miso (look for brands with added dashi stock), a handful of spinach, a large pinch of beansprouts, some thinly sliced deep-fried tofu or cubed fresh tofu and ½ spring onion, finely sliced. At work, add a cup of boiling water and stir well to dissolve the miso.
Smell factor: 2/10
Chilli and miso noodle soup
Anna Jones combines miso and brown rice vermicelli in a quick spicy bowlful: place one nest of rice vermicelli in a bowlful of boiling water for three minutes then drain and place in a Tupperware with a knob of ginger, minced, 1 tbsp white miso paste, 1 tsp harissa and some tamari. Top with spring onion, carrot, sugar snap peas, kale and a red chilli, all finely sliced, and scatter with toasted sesame seeds. At work, boil the kettle and pour over enough water to cover everything, mix well and squeeze half a lime over to finish.
Smell factor: 2/10
Cheat’s pho
At home fry up a serving of thinly sliced chicken with some thinly sliced onion and daikon, one small knob of ginger, minced, a couple each of cloves and star anise and a pinch of cinnamon, and season with sugar, fish sauce and salt to taste. Decant to a Tupperware and top with bird’s eye chilli, red onion and spring onion, all finely sliced, some fresh coriander leaves and a twist of black pepper. At work, place 75g of dry flat pho noodles in a bowlful of boiling water and cover until tender – about 10 minutes – then drain and add to your Tupperware. Dissolve ½ chicken stock cube in 500ml water in a mug, pour over everything and mix well. Squeeze over ½ lime to finish.
Smell factor: 7/10 (it’s the fish sauce)
Soft-boiled eggs
At home, combine 60ml dashi fish or kelp stock with ½ tbsp mirin and 1½ tbsp soy sauce, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of bonito fish flakes (optional) and leave for one minute. Decant ¼ of this sauce (the rest will keep for five days in the fridge) into a small lidded jar, with half a spring onion, finely sliced. At work, an hour before lunchtime, place two eggs in a teapot, fill with boiling water and put the lid on, then wrap the teapot snugly in a tea towel. After an hour, remove the eggs and gently crack open, slide them into a bowl, and pour the sauce over.
Smell factor: 5/10


11
Can a Small Startup Take on the Legal Research Goliaths?

A recent study comparing legal research platforms found that attorneys using Casetext’s artificial intelligence (A.I.) enhanced research, CARA A.I., finished their research 24.5% faster, required 4.4 times fewer searches to accomplish the same research task, and rated the cases they found 20.8% more relevant than those found on a legacy research tool.
For us, the study validated empirically what we’ve been hearing anecdotally since introducing CARA A.I. two years ago: researchers using artificial intelligence on Casetext have a serious edge over those using older approaches.
But the study raises a bigger question. For decades, two giant companies have dominated legal research. With results this stark, is it possible for us, a newer, smaller company taking a new approach, to credibly challenge the status quo—to play David to their Goliath?
We are a newer and smaller company taking on multibillion-dollar goliaths—how can we compete?
We get asked this question all the time. How can we possibly take on the goliaths in the industry?
We know we’re not one of the “big guys.” We haven’t been around since the 1860s. We’re smaller—by over 1,000 employees. You probably didn’t learn about us in law school.
Yet we believe that being smaller and younger is one of our strengths. When you’re smaller, you try harder—or else. We know we’re the underdog; David, going up against Goliath. We know we’ll be smashed if we don’t outdo, outwork, and outserve.
As a result, you’ll never feel like you’re using decades-old technology on Casetext. We can’t afford to offer anything but the cutting-edge.
That’s why we introduced CARA A.I. In the most recent comparison study referenced above, researchers using this technology are 24.5% faster, only needed an average of 1.5 searches to find relevant cases instead of 6.6 on the legacy provider, rated the cases found 20.8% more relevant. The vast majority of participants (75%) preferred the research experience using CARA A.I. over the researching on the legacy provider. The average attorney spends between 16% and 35% of their time doing research, so can expect to save 132 to 210 hours every year while finding dramatically better results. (Perhaps because these results were so stark, the legacy provider set its PR machinery into action to bury the study, only to make the story and intrigue around it even bigger.)
And because we’re newer, we know we must do as well or better as the other guys in functionality and content, including cases, statutes, and regulations. Fast, accurate search. Red flags on cases. Copy with a cite. Over 500,000 articles written by attorneys on every topic of law. Two-column PDFs. The key passages in cases highlighted for you. Briefs.
It’s nice not to work with a company that’s not a monopoly.
The other guys have had a near-monopoly for decades. High prices, complex contracts, NDAs, multi-year lock-ins, out-of-plan charges…
We’re the new guys, and we couldn’t do all that even if we wanted to (and we don’t want to).
On Casetext, our plan is transparent, all-inclusive, and at an unbeatable price—just $65 a month for an annual subscription, $89 for month-to-month. No exceptions, gotchas, exclusions, or out-of-plan fees.
We can’t hide behind an army of slick salespeople; the product needs to speak for itself. That’s why we have a free 14-day trial you can sign up for yourself online.
And we’re not a mega-company, so we get to do customer service right. Need training? You’ll get one from a Casetext specialist for free, and can book a time on our calendar whenever works best for you. Have a question? Start a chat on any page of the site. Have a request for a feature or to expand our content database? Let us impress you with how quickly we add it.
https://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2018/10/casetext-legal-research/



12
Three Ways Lawyers Can Provide Better Client Service With Tech

According to the 2018 Legal Trends Report, what lawyers think their clients want doesn’t always line up with what clients actually want.
For example, 70% of consumers surveyed wanted to tell their lawyer about the details or facts of a situation in person, but but the majority of lawyers thought their clients preferred to do this over the phone or via email.
Taking a client-centered approach and meeting client expectations can help your firm stand out, but this doesn’t always mean simply aligning your firm to what clients say they want: Technology can bring plenty of benefits that your clients may not know about, and by introducing your clients to new technologies, you may improve their overall client experience. Per the Legal Trends Report:
“Clients may be the ones to set expectations for law firms, but lawyers are ultimately responsible for delivering on those expectations by finding solutions that are in the best interest of both the client and the firm. This may include educating clients on the benefits of new technologies—especially if they ensure better value and reduce wasted time for everyone.”
Here are three areas where lawyers can educate their clients on the benefits of new technologies to shift expectations, make operations more efficient, and create a better client experience.
1. Appointment scheduling: Use an online tool
59% of consumers surveyed for the Legal Trends Report preferred scheduling appointments over the phone, but this method is often more time consuming than clients may think. Leaving messages, remembering to follow-up, and taking calls at awkward times all adds up to a lot of unnecessary back and forth.
With self-scheduling tools, your firm can cut down on the time spent playing phone tag, and your clients can have a simpler experience scheduling appointments as well! For example, Jennifer Reynolds of Fresh Legal uses Acuity Scheduling during the client intake process to make it easy for potential clients to schedule their initial consults.
2. Document signing: Use e-signatures
When it comes to legal documents, 64% of consumers surveyed for the report said they’d prefer signing and viewing documents in person.
Of course, in some cases an in-person (or video) meeting may make more sense: Your client may have questions about their document, and may be looking for clarity or reassurance as to what everything means. However, it’s hard to believe that anyone would prefer taking time out of their workday to physically meet their lawyer to sign a document if they knew there was another option available.
With e-signatures, clients can simply click a link on their mobile phone or computer, draw or type in their signature, and click a button to submit the signed copy back to the firm. Plenty of tools, including DocuSign and RightSignature, will give your firm the ability to offer e-signatures, removing travel time and the time needed to set up meetings for both you and your clients.
3. Lawyer-client interactions: Meet over video
According to the Legal Trends Report, few clients say they’d prefer to interact with their lawyers over video, whether they’re talking about the legal aspects of their case, getting key updates, or something else.
However, depending on your practice area, meeting clients via Skype or Google Hangouts could be an efficient means of giving your clients face time while allowing you both to avoid time spent on transit or in traffic.
For example, Sound Immigration offers clients the option to meet via Skype or video conference if they can’t make it into the office.
By experimenting with new technologies and communicating the benefits of options like video meetings and self-scheduling tools to your clients, you’ll likely end up with happier clients and a more efficient law firm.
https://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2018/11/clio-clients-tech/

13
Procedural laws / Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar ‘historic’.
« on: September 27, 2018, 12:25:27 PM »
Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar ‘historic’.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court ruling on Aadhaar was “historic” as the concept of an unique identity number was accepted. He said Aadhaar had helped the government to save over Rs 90,000 crores every year with the targeted delivery of government services.
The finance minister said while he had not read the full judgment, his understanding was that the Supreme Court had barred the use of Aadhaar by private entities like mobile phone firms in the absence of legislative backing for that.
On the need for Aadhaar’s linking with bank accounts and mobile phone connections after the court order, Mr Jaitley said the question was being asked without a full reading the judgment. “So let us first read the judgment. There are 2-3 prohibited areas. Are they because they are totally prohibited, or are they because they need legal backing. So my answer in general, the generic answer will depend on what is the rationale, for instance, on these private entities, it needs to be backed by law. That’s my understanding. I still have a detailed reading of the judgment to do.” He added: “Therefore, the prohibited areas ... do not assume ... are perpetually prohibited, they could be procedurally prohibited or they could be prohibited as such,” he said.
The minister said the whole concept of unique identity number that had been accepted after judicial review is an extremely welcome decision. He said the court had also upheld the Aadhaar legislation, that mandated assigning an unique identification number of Indian citizens, was a money bill. “You cannot defy technology. You cannot ignore it,” he added.
Asserting that the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar ruling was a “victory of good governance, empowerment of ordinary people and efficient delivery of public services to the people of India”, the BJP claimed while under the UPA Aadhaar was “Niradhar” and had no purpose, the Narendra Modi government gave it “strong legal backing and integrated it in service delivery”. The BJp said the court’s decision was a “strong validation of Aadhaar as an instrument of service delivery” and gives a further impetus to empowering the poor by ensuring that they get their rights.
“Aadhaar under UPA government was Niradhar and had no purpose. The UPA spent thousands of crores to enrol people without any law or scrutiny. The Modi government gave it a strong legal backing and integrated it in service delivery. This ensured a saving of `90,000 crores and benefited the poor... The Congress, being the fountainhead of middlemen and corruption, tried every trick to fight and defeat Aadhaar, politically and legally.
They tried to mislead the people on various grounds, including scare-mongering on privacy. Today they stand exposed and defeated,” said BJP president Amit Shah.
http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/270918/arun-jaitley-supreme-court-judgment-is-historic.html


14
Demands for rape victims' mobile phone data hampering investigations
Prosecutors closing a record number of cases before charging decisions amid row over disclosure of evidence. Rape prosecutions have plummeted by almost a quarter in a year as police admit vast quantities of mobile phone data are slowing down investigations and causing victims to drop out.
New figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) show a 23 per cent year-on-year drop in the number of rape suspects prosecuted in 2017-18, despite the number of rapes recorded by police increasing by 31 per cent across England and Wales in the same period.
It comes after a scandal over failures to disclose crucial evidence, including messages and mobile phone pictures, which caused a series of rape trials to collapse.
Lawyers are concerned that the ensuing outrage caused prosecutors to “scurry too far in the opposite direction” and demand phone records and details of victims’ histories and personal lives before proceeding with cases.
Under half of the cases referred to prosecutors by police (47 per cent) were taken forward in the year, down from 55 per cent the year before, and a record number of referrals were dismissed ahead of a formal charging decision.
More than a fifth of rape referrals were “administratively finalised” by the CPS, up from 12 per cent the year before, meaning they were closed without action against the suspects.
The move is taken when police ask for advice but do not submit a full file for a charging decision, or when prosecutors request more information or evidence but officers do not supply it by their deadline.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for rape, said the “increasing amount of digital material on a variety of devices that needs to be analysed” was having an impact.
“This includes obtaining material held by third parties [such as US-based social media companies] and the subsequent disclosure of what is considered relevant material,” he added. “This can take many months and in some cases impact on the participation of complainants.
“We continue to work closely with the CPS to identity and address the factors behind the drop in referrals.”
It now takes an average of 78 days to charge a suspected rapist after the victim reports, up from 63 in 2016-17, and then another 11 months for the case to conclude.
Dame Vera Baird QC, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ leader for victims, said the statistics showed the CPS was “refusing to charge without more information” that could allow rape claims to be undermined in court.
“The CPS often requires access to tracts of intimate personal and confidential material about complainants and won’t charge unless it is supplied, even if the police are satisfied that it contains nothing relevant to defence or prosecution,” she added.
“There is no excuse for the CPS to arbitrarily decide not to pursue crimes which may have seriously injured people in order to get their conviction figures up … these figures are another wakeup call that we need to do more to protect the rights of victims of sexual offences through the judicial process.”
The CPS put the increase in “administratively finalised” cases down to an increase in investigative advice given to police before they submit a full file for a formal charging decision.
A spokesperson said: “Rape is one of the most complex crimes the CPS deals with and prosecutors are given ongoing training to suppohttps
://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rape-convictions-prosecutions-fall-cps-police-mobile-phone-disclosure-victims-a8556601.htmlrt decision making in challenging cases.

15
Women / Nine activists defending the Earth from violent assault
« on: September 23, 2018, 03:21:18 PM »
Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault.
The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions.
'God wants you to act on what's in front of you': enforcing conservation law in the Coral Triangle
 From the Coral Triangle and the Sierra Madre to the Amazon and the Western African Savannah, they are caught up in struggles against illegal fishing, industrial farming, poachers, polluters and miners.
The majority have seen colleagues, family or friends murdered or arrested. Two have bodyguards. Several say they wake up each day thankful to be alive. They are often criminalised, labelled terrorists or portrayed by their enemies as anti-development. All are determined to carry on their struggles despite almost ever-present and growing risks.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/21/defending-earth-violence-murder-activists-land-corruption


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