This is the Lawyer2B weekly round-up of national and international stories on justice and the law that you need to know about.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling says he wishes to take steps towards a more effective rehabilitation system which would lessen the practice of releasing criminals halfway through sentences. The current policy, introduced by the Labour party, sees inmates “automatically” released halfway through sentences regardless of their behaviour in prison. Grayling also unveiled plans to build the UK’s biggest ever prison this week.
Wikileaks: Bradley Manning granted 112-day reduction
Judge ruled that sentence decrease is a form of compensation for his treatment, and the resulting psychological duress he was under, from July 2010 to April 2011 at Quantico marine base, Virginia.
Under constant survelliance, Manning had his possessions removed from his cell. His clothes were also periodically taken away. The judge ruled that Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice protects prisoners not yet sentenced from punishment on grounds that they are innocent until proven guilty.
Brussels takes aim at Google
Google will be made to alter its presentation of search engine results in Europe or face fines, the EU’s competition chief has said. Joaquín Almunia stated that Google’s practice of manipulating results to display its own services more prominently, which negates consumer choice and potentially robs commerce from business rivals, would be clamped down on.
Men accused of raping Indian medical student in Delhi to be tried in closed court
Judge upholds ruling that men are to be tried in closed, newly-created fast-track court.
Prominent Indian journalist Saikat Datta commented: “citizens cannot see how their justice system functions… The judiciary, like the legislature and the executive, is a key pillar that ensures the good health of a democracy. They must be seen to work and, therefore, must work in a transparent manner.”
Stephen Lawrence’s brother sues Met over racial discrimination
Stuart Lawrence is accusing the Metropolitan Police of racial discrimination after officers used stop-and-search powers on him more than 25 times in “recent years”. Family solicitor Imran Khan, of Camden firm Imran Khan & Partners, has vowed to use the “full force of the law” against the Met.
Foreign nationals lose right to legal aid in prison
Legislation will stop legal aid for those facing deportation in jail in April.
Fewer than one in 30 rapes leads to conviction
There are nearly 80,000 rape victims each year in the UK but only 1,070 rapists, each guilty of 2.3 attacks on average, are convicted in that time frame, according to Official for National Statistics figures. At least 80 per cent of rapes go unreported. If reported, it takes nearly a year after an attack for charges to be brought and almost two years for an offender who pleads not guilty to be sentenced.
Berlusconi blames his costly divorce settlement on “communist and feminist judges”
The former Italian prime minister is still making headlines for the wrong reasons, claiming he is paying his ex-wife around €200,000 per day. His story is contrary to former reports of the court settlement and gives a stark indication of just how ludicrously rich the media tycoon and bunga-bunga enthusiast is.