Friday, July 29, 2005

Psychic

The government thinks that solicitors are psychic and will know that the law is changing without telling anyone!

On 22nd July 2005 government ministers signed off a piece of legislation that affects how prison days spent on remand are dealt with as part of a prison sentence. This legislation then came in to force on 23rd July 2005 (the following day). We all knew that this new law was going to come in to effect because it was buried deep within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and that particular piece of legislation has been publicly available for quite some time now. What we did not know was when these provisions would come in to force.

The government brought these new provisions in to force, and several days later they publish a Home Office Circular on the provisions, and nearly a week later they actually publish the new regulations that have come in to force! Do I have to be psychic to keep up to date with the changes in the law? They say, "Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law," but is that really fair when laws are brought in to force that have not yet been made publicly available to read and digest?

3 comments:

Bystander said...

Absolutely par for the course. A particular Act that affects my court (for geographical reasons) came in to force last summer, and the first that we knew about it was eight people in custody on a Monday morning. Clerks and defence scurried about to find some meaningful advice for us, and we ended up forming a point of view that turned out to be quite wrong once we had had a chance for proper consideration and advice.

Gavin said...

I am glad that it is not just me who has to be psychic.

Lennie Briscoe said...

Just wait till some of the new powers from the serious organised crime act (think thats the one)come into force in November which redefines the section 24 arrestable offence...Thats going to cause mahem..