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Latest News
Felicity Gerry QC secures acquittal for a child client on an alleged “joint enterprise” murder Felicity Gerry QC secures an acquittal for a child client on an alleged “joint enterprise” murder after a submission of no case to answer. In a trial involving special measures including an intermediary for her vulnerable child client at Manchester Crown Court, Felicity successfully argued that there was no evidence to prove murder. Later her submissions on knowledge were successfully added to the legal directions on other counts. Verdicts on manslaughter and conspiracy to rob were entered yesterday and sentence will take place on 11 June. Read about the trial: Manchester Evening News The Sun IE
Libertas Chambers
Libertas Lens – May 2021 In our third Libertas Lens we look at neuroscience, habeas corpus, bankrupts and an absence of victims in sentencing for sexual offences. To view the recent edition click here To register for Libertas Lens and ensure you never miss out on our news, events and free webinars follow this link or click Join our Newsletter below.
Libertas Chambers
Encrochat Preparatory Hearing Simon Csoka QC is leading the defence submissions in the key preparatory hearing upon Encrochat evidence in Manchester. Simon is leading Oliver Cook and Frances Hertzog from Libertas and Imran Shafi QC from Exchange. We are instructed by Middleweeks and Potter Derby. The submissions are being made by Simon and his juniors on behalf of all the defendants in Operations Embossed and Estevan before Dove J. This is the lead case on many of the admissibility challenges to Encrochat. These are new factual and legal challenges to the legality and admissibility of the material. Other Venetic prosecutions are awaiting the outcome of the hearing and any consequent appeal by either side. The preparatory hearing is due to resume on 4th May after having been adjourned part-heard. The proceedings are subject to reporting restrictions but solicitors are permitted to listen to the hearing through CVP. Our clerks are happy to assist with that. Simon and Oli will deliver a webinar on Encrochat evidence once reporting restrictions permit.
Simon Csoka QC
Latest Insights
Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Criminal Law This article contains much of what we discussed in our Libertas Lecture on 22 April 2021 which followed the theme of the A.A. Milne quote: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes”. In criminal proceedings legal professionals have to consider, recognise and respond to a range of issues that regularly confront medical professionals. These include adverse mental health; equality, and inclusion issues; poverty; evidence of bullying; parental substance misuse (alcohol and/or drug use); domestic (inter-partner) violence; and child abuse. Add to this Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) where the display of challenging behaviour, particularly by children and within the criminal justice system means we have a forest of problems with no apparent clearing. This short article particularly considers accused persons in contact with the criminal justice system who may have some or all of these issues along with other disabilities. Download Article now
Felicity Gerry QC
Virus Transmission, Deception and the Criminal Law This article sets out some of the matters we discussed in our Libertas Chambers online lecture on 18 March 2021. It considers the current state of the English criminal law in relation to deception and the transmission of a virus through sexual intercourse with particular reference to the decisions in R v Lawrance [2020] EWCA Crim 971 and R v Rowe [2018] EWCA Crim 2688. Largely we consider the law in relation to deception and HIV but, over the last 12 months of lockdown, the lottery of transmission is now more generally understood which make the issue of criminalisation of viral transmission acutely important. Download Article now
Felicity Gerry QC
Sentencing: Covid discounts on the wane? The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose a series of challenges to the criminal justice system. The sentencing regime is no exception. In R v Manning [2020], the Court of Appeal established that prison conditions could and should be factored into decisions to suspend custodial terms where appropriate, setting in motion a series of higher courts’ decisions on the availability and scope of the ‘Covid Discounts’. More than a year on, the Court has now fine-tuned its earlier jurisprudence; this article examines the implications of R v Dixon [2021] for offenders, advocates and sentencers concerned with Covid-related submissions at sentencing. Download Article now
Fahrid Chishty
Latest Events
Memory and Brain Disorders in Criminal Trials – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below Siobhan Grey QC will be joined by Professor Michael Kopelman, Neuropsychiatrist and Professor Chris Brewin, Clinical Psychologist to discuss the accuracy of memory in the courtroom, memory disorders and how neuro-imaging – CT scans and MRI scans – is being relied upon at trial. This talk will give a brief introduction to some of the ways in which clinical neuroscience is implicated in the criminal courts, with particular reference to memory disorders and incorporating issues such as amnesia for offences, automatism, alcohol-related memory disorder, and fitness to plead. It will give a basic account of how such cases are assessed, including neuro-imaging, and the problems which can arise. Siobhan Grey QC, is a criminal defence advocate who has led in many murder cases where the central issues involved memory disorders and has relied upon neuroimaging to show a deterioration in the brain. Ms Grey QC has recently succeeded in having a murder conviction quashed in the Court of Appeal on the grounds of fresh evidence and she is currently instructed in appellate cases before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal and the Privy Council. She is also instructed to lead for the Defence in forthcoming murder cases. Professor Michael Kopelman is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Kings College, London. He ran a Neuropsychiatry and Memory Disorders Clinic for 25 years at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. He was President of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has written on many aspects of amnesia and memory disorders – from the nature of cognitive deficits in neurological disease to amnesia in crime. His medico-legal work has included a variety of criminal, extradition, death row, civil and Court of Appeal cases. Professor Chris Brewin is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London. In 2013 he received the Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He is acknowledged as a leading expert in trauma and memory and his medicolegal work has focused on memory for historic sexual abuse. Register today – To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Gross Negligence Manslaughter – Medical, Drug and Food related deaths – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below. Discussing the distinctions between unlawful acts and gross negligence, the recent case of R v Rebelo No2 on autonomy in causation and the continuing issues with the meanings of “substantial cause”, “reasonable foreseeability” and “obvious and serious risk” following Honey Rose v R Presented by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Oliver Quick – Felicity defended the appeal in R v Rebelo No1 where the Court of Appeal of England and Wales considered manslaughter in the context of a diet pill bought online and the scope of women’s autonomy in eating disorders. She has long experience of appearing in cases of homicide involving complex legal and medical issues. Oliver Quick is Reader in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Society at the University of Bristol. He has written widely about law and patient safety with particular expertise on gross negligence manslaughter. His research was heavily cited in the Independent Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide established by the General Medical Council. Register today – To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Forensic Archaeology and the preservation of evidence for criminal trials – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below. Forensic Archaeology and the preservation of evidence for international and domestic criminal trials Discussing the use of forensic archaeology in mass graves and major crime from Srebrenica to the Moors Murders to the Fred West investigations as well as in buried homicide, treasure troves and commercial construction. This lecture also considers the recent ICC decision in Dominic Ongwen on Article 56 of the Rome Statute and the rights of defendants in the collection and preservation of physical and witness evidence . Presented by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Abi Carter and Sarah Day – Felicity has defended a range of historic cases including a criminal trial where all the evidence (prosecution and defence) was on video. She is on the lists of counsel at the International criminal court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague. She has a particular expertise in out of time appeals and scene examination and a particular interest in the Richard III investigation. Abi Carter is a Forensic Archaeologist and Director of Forensic Resources Ltd. Abi worked on some of the forensic evidence associated with the mass graves of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarah was part of the defence team for Ao An at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Register today – To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers