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Friday, 07 February 2020 11:42

Legal limbo

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The government has unveiled plans to reform legislation that has left thousands of suspects languishing in legal limbo. Three months after announcing it would review pre-charge bail laws, the Home Office today published a consultation.

Pre-charge bail allows police to release a suspect from custody, usually subject to conditions, while officers continue their investigation or await a charging decision. A 28-day time limit for police bail came into force in April 2017. The reforms were supposed to prevent people languishing for long spells under pre-charge bail. However, criminal defence practitioners said tight police resources meant it was unrealistic to complete many investigations within 28 days or seek a bail extension. The only workaround was to release suspects under investigation. As a result, suspects face uncertainty without time limits or constraints on the police. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘Since rule changes in 2017 there have been concerns that pre-charge bail is not always being used where appropriate to protect victims, investigations are taking longer to conclude and that this has had adverse impacts on the courts. 

For full article https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/no-quick-fixes-home-office-begins-pre-charge-bail-review/5102983.article?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pre-charge+bail+review+%7c+Beckwith+judgment+published+%7c+Aviation%27s+dodgy+dealings_02%2f05%2f2020

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