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The Queens speech - Crime and courts bill

09 May 2012

The Queens speech today focused on a Crime and Courts Bill. The Bill will include moving toward televised court proceedings and the creation of a specific criminal offence relating to driving whilst under the influence of drugs. The speech also laid out the decision to create a National Crime Agency


Televised criminal court proceedings

Under the proposals television cameras will go into some courts in England and Wales. the use of such cameras will however be limited and images of the defendant and witnesses will not be shown. It thus leaves some questions about the purpose and benefits of such revisions.

The establishment of a new National Crime Agency

Under the reforms a new agency the national crime agency is to take over the work of tackling serious organised crime and boarder security which is currently carried out by the Serious Crime Agency (SOCA) with the additional responsibility of tackling cyber and child exploitation offences.  Consideration is also being given to whether the Financial Services Authority should also be merged with the new NCA. Some sources have suggested that this reorganisation seems like a proposed disaster with administrative errors, mix-ups and other procedural failures likely.

Driving under the influence of drugs to be made a specific offence

The current legislation requires proof that the driver was impaired by the use of drugs however under new proposals just having illegal drugs in your system will be enough to secure a conviction.
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