Legal Sites and Resources in the UK, C

Charities, civil justice, civil procedure, computer evidence, forensics, internet, data protection, construction, crime, police, prisons and magistrates.

Charities

  • The Charity Commission is the Regulator for Charities in England & Wales. The site provides information on the system of regulation as well as a register of charities. You can search for charities by name, geographic area or by registered number (but not by the topic covered by the charity).
  • Charity Choice (Encyclopaedia of Charities) provides a directory online and allows you to search by the topic, e.g. Aged, Animals, Armed servies, Blind etc. there is information on bequests in wills and various publications.


    Civil Justice

    Starting with GOV.UK
  • GOV.UK is the Government's over-arching portal for all Government services and information.
    This has replaced the hundreds of previous Government sites with a consistent interface, comprehensive search facilities and user-focused experience.

    These are the topics listed on the home page leads to the main topics (each of which have many more subdivisions and sub topics):

  • Benefits - Includes eligibility, appeals, tax credits and Universal Credit
  • Births, deaths, marriages and care - Parenting, civil partnerships, divorce and Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Business and self-employed - Tools and guidance for businesses
  • Childcare and parenting - Includes giving birth, fostering, adopting, benefits for children, childcare and schools
  • Citizenship and living in the UK - Voting, community participation, life in the UK, international projects
  • Crime, justice and the law - Legal processes, courts and the police
  • Disabled people - Includes carers, your rights, benefits and the Equality Act
  • Driving and transport - Includes vehicle tax, MOT and driving licences
  • Education and learning - Includes student loans, admissions and apprenticeships
  • Employing people - Includes pay, contracts and hiring
  • Environment and countryside - Includes flooding, recycling and wildlife
  • Housing and local services - Owning or renting and council services
  • Money and tax - Includes debt and Self Assessment
  • Passports, travel and living abroad - Includes renewing passports and travel advice by country
  • Visas and immigration - Visas, asylum and sponsorship
  • Working, jobs and pensions - Includes holidays and finding a job

    However, much of the information required by lawyers is still on the Ministry of Justice site including:

  • Procedure rules
  • Daily court lists
  • Prison finder
  • XHIBIT daily court status

  • Courts and Tribunals Judiciary site provides information, mainly for ordinary viewers rather than professionals.
  • The Civil Court Users Association exists to represent the interests of organisations that use the Civil Courts in England and Wales. The Association serves its members by lobbying the Department for Consitutional Affairs and the Court Service on litigation matters relevant to the credit industry and is focussed on improving the service provided by the Courts for Court Users. Between them, the members of the Association are responsible for the issue of more than 80% of all civil proceedings for the recovery of debts. Regular regional meetings allow the members to raise and discuss issues which are fed back to the National Council which in turn holds regular liaison meetings with the Court Service.


    Computer and Internet Law and Regulation including Computer Evidence and Computer Forensics

  • The Society for Computers and Law is the leading UK organisation for legal professionals advising and practising within the IT sector or advising in a commercial context with a brief that includes such issues as IT, data protection and e-commerce. The SCL provides a well researched and topical journal and puts on many talks and lectures around the country.
  • British Computer Society (Chartered Institute for IT), champions the global IT profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession for the benefit of all. They foster links between experts from industry, academia and business to promote new thinking, education and knowledge sharing. Through continuing professional development and a series of respected IT qualifications, they seek to promote professional practice tuned to the demands of business.
  • Internet Law & Policy Forum is dedicated to the sustainable global development of the Internet through legal and public policy initiatives. It is an international nonprofit organization whose member companies develop and deploy the Internet in every aspect of business today.
  • The Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review brings articles, legal developments and case reports to academics, practitioners and the industry in relation to digital evidence and electronic signatures from across the world. The review is issued once a year, in October/November. This Open Access version of the journal is being developed by Stephen Mason with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London on the SAS Open Journals System.
  • out-law.com is an extensive information site provided by Pinsent Masons. There are 10,000 pages of free legal news and guidance, mostly on IT and e-commerce issues with many new items posted every day. There are also a large number of quite detailed "Guides" on new media and e-commerce topics. About Cookies is another site set up by Pinsent Masons as a guide to deleting and controlling cookies and (for web site owners) assistance in staying the right side of the law.
  • Spam Laws is a site set up by US Law Professor David E. Sorkin. The site groups laws by USA (Federal and State), Europe (EU and by country) and other Countries, and provides links to legislation or proposed legislation in these countries. There is also a good list of links to spam-related sites.
  • Kingsley Napley - London, provide information on current topics of business, e-commerce, employment and commercial law generally. They also offer a separate site called WebLAW.co.uk which focusses on the topic of e-commerce and legal aspects of web site development and maintenance. There is information on domain name disputes and SAAS and virtualisation agreements. They offer template and bespoke solutions.
  • Michael J L Turner is forensic computer examiner and an established expert witness on computer evidence. The site provides an extensive list of cases relating to the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He gives a brief summary of each case and a link to a free source of information, if available.
  • Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions,is authored by Martin H Sampson of US lawfirm Davidoff Malito & Hutcher. The site is one of the web's foremost case digests, providing in-depth analysis of over 600 US court decisions affecting those who do business on the Internet. Court decisions are organized by subject matter. The user is provided with a brief synopsis of the court's decision. If the decision is of interest, a link takes the user to a more thorough analysis.
  • Jonathan Turner is a barrister who provides case reports and articles on IP, competition and IT law.
  • Disklabs Computer Forensics provide computer investigations by leading experts. Disklabs Computer Forensics also provide the same computer forensics services on seemingly 'dead' hard disk drives and other data storage devices. there is information on the site on these and related topics.
  • Athena Forensics is one of the UK's leading providers of Computer Forensics, Mobile Phone Forensics and Cell Site Analysis Services. They specialise in the examination and investigation of digital media and evidence and they work with firms of solicitors across the UK. There is information on the site about these topics including some in-depth articles.

    Construction and Building Law

  • Society of Construction Law
  • Atkinson Law provides information in construction related to arbitration with case law and articles.
  • Abacus Construction Index is a directory of 2,000 recommended websites and online documents for construction professionals. In particular, there is a facility to browse and search a large body of UK construction legislation, including the Building Regulations, and their Appeals & Determinations.
  • Firms of solicitors who provide information on construction law and links to other construction-related resources:
  • Tony Bingham, of 3 Paper Buildings
  • Corbett & Co. - Teddington
  • Fenwick Elliott - London
  • Morris Associates - Wymondham, Norfolk


    Costs - including case law and comments

  • Legal Costs Blog comes from Gibbs Wyatt Stone, Defendant Costs Specialists. The blog covers the expertise expected from specialist costs counsel and the range of services provided by traditional costs draftsmen. Although the blog has only just been launched, it includes archive material from the last 2 years, previously covered on the Costs Law site. There is also a Costs Law update to which you can subscribe on the site.
  • Andrew Hogan's blog on legal costs provides information and posts on this topic. Andrew has advised upon and argued costs cases in the county court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as other tribunals including the Lands Tribunal. He is based at Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham but travels widely.
  • Jennings Costs Consultants is one of the country's leading (and largest) firms of law costs consultants, covering the whole of England and Wales, with a presence in most major UK cities. They specialize in criminal & family law cases & have a large group of law cost consultants and draftsmen.
  • Just Costs Solicitors is the UK’s leading Solicitors’ Practice specialising in Costs and is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). They provide nationwide coverage from their offices in Manchester, London, Chesterfield and Leeds and specialise in Commercial Litigation, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Costs and Costs Budgeting.
  • The Costs Directory is a niche directory site covering the legal costs industry. Directory Categories are: Costs Specialists, ATE Insurance Providers, Litigation Funders, Brokers, Training & Seminars, Costs & Case Management Software, Recruitment and Legal Services.

    Crime, Police, Prisons, Magistrates

    See below the subsections for
    crime, police, prisons, magistrates.

    Crime

  • The Ministry of Justice website has now effectively been replaced by the overall portal GOV.UK. but you can still reach key areas via the old web addresses, e.g.
  • UK Criminal Law blog ("explaining the criminal law") was set up by 3 barristers from 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings after a discussion on Twitter concerning inaccurate reports of criminal cases in the press, the lack of public understanding of the criminal justice system and the number of unlawful sentences handed out by the courts. It was noted that many news reports, and consequently discussions had by the public concerning cases of interest, are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the law (and on numerous occasions, inaccurate facts). In addition, it appeared that many solicitors, barristers and even judges, make fundamental errors of law. The site contains a major source of information about the court system and the legal system generally, particularly with respect to criminal law. There are also headnotes from important Court of Appeal and Supreme Court explaining the impact of the decision. Where possible, they also provide the sentencing remarks from the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, together with a short report stating the facts and the outcome.
  • The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, counter-terrorism and police. The site maintains news and information resources on criminal law.
  • The National Crime Agency tackles serious organised crime that affects the UK. This includes Class A drugs, people smuggling and human trafficking, major gun crime, fraud, computer crime and money laundering.
  • Criminal Law Solicitors Association represents criminal practitioners throughout England and Wales. Membership of the Association is open to any solicitor - prosecution or defence - and to court clerks, qualified or trainee - involved with, or interested in, the practice of criminal law. Although primariy a membership organisation, there are some resources available to non-members, including for example, an LCCSA Guidance Note on "The dangers of clients using mobile phones in custody to contact solicitors", a Guide to Appropriate Adults and a video called "Going to Court - A step by step guide to being a witness". It is possible to search for a CLSA member solicitor by area (postcode), by name (of the solicitor or of the firm) or by the court. There is a news section which covers current campaings.
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a Non-Departmental Public Body which administers the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Since its introduction in 1964, it has provided some tangible acknowledgement of societys sympathy for innocent victims of violent crime or those injured trying to apprehend criminals or prevent a crime. They receive over 76,000 applications for compensation each year and spend in excess of 200,000,000 per year in compensation payments. The site describes the scheme, provides the forms in pdf format and gives advice on how to apply for compensation.
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, formerly known as as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP), considers appeals against decisions made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
  • Legal Aid Agency is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. It came into existence on 1 April 2013 following the abolition of the Legal Services Commission as a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012. The Act created the new statutory office of the Director of Legal Casework. The Director will take decisions on the funding of individual cases. Processes have been put in place to ensure the Legal Aid Agency is able to demonstrate independence of decision-making. There will be an annual report published about these decisions.
  • The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College, London, brings together criminal justice practitioners, sentences, policy makers and academics. As well as advertising courses and publications, there is an excellent set of links to web resources.
  • Consumer Crime Cases (CCC) is a database of several hundred digests of appeal cases relating to Trading Standards prosecutions. The site covers specialist points of law peculiar to consumer and other regulatory law and, in addition, with precedents on legal issues such as abuse of process or duplicity which derive from the more general field of criminal law. The case reports come from Victor Smith a former head of the legal service at Northamptonshire County Council. There is a (modest) charge to access the reports, either for an individual or for a corporate account.
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association was founded in 1948 for Solicitors who practise in and around the Greater London area. Included are Crown Prosecutors and self employed advocates. There are consultation papers on the site and links to legal bodies in the general crime area.
  • Centre for Law and Society at the University of Edinburgh, is an interdisciplinary research centre in the School of Law. It holds a distinctive place in the development of legal studies in the United Kingdom and internationally as a long-standing forum for exchange between scholars in philosophy of law, sociological and anthropological approaches to law, criminology and penology.
  • CrimeLine is a major free legal resources on the web for criminal lawyers. The free weekly publication CrimeLine Updater is written by Andrew Keogh and received by over 17,000 professionals each week. You can register for this on the site. Each issue digests the latest cases from 30 sources, legislation and news. Important judgments are often emailed within minutes of being handed down. Cases are linked to Casetrack or Bailii for full text judgments. Crimeline has now created an APP - see description here - to make searching Bailii easier on mobile devices (Apple at the moment, others on the way). It also allows bookmarking of cases/documents and emailing. The full description says "CrimeLine Law puts the free Bailii databases in your pocket and gives you access to thousands of cases and statutes. Wherever you have a mobile phone signal, you now have Bailii in your pocket for speedy access. The APP allows you to bookmark cases or legislation for future quick reference and you can email cases to others. A donation from sale proceeds of this APP will be made to Bailii (in 2011 CrimeLine gave £2,500 to Bailii)."
  • Garden Court Chambers have created a bank of specialist legal resources relevant to their practice areas including Crime (take "Resources" and then "Crime Legal Resources"). Within each of these legal areas, they have then set up around a dozen sub topics where they have located cases, relevant legislation and useful links. The areas they cover under Crime are Anti-Social Behaviour, Drugs Offences, Extradition, Firearms Offences, Fraud, Human Rights, Miscarriages of Justice, Proceeds of Crime, Public Order Offences, Sentencing, Serious Violent Crime, Sexual Offences and Terrorism.
  • The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent public body that was set up in March 1997 by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 to review possible miscarriages of justice in the criminal courts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and refer appropriate cases to the appeal courts. The Commission is based in Birmingham and has about 90 staff, including a core of about 50 caseworkers, supported by administrative staff. There are nine Commissioners, appointed in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  • Criminal Law Week now published by Thomson Reuters, is a weekly digest of all new developments in the criminal law, covering both case law and statute law, primary and subordinate. Commentary is provided by a team led by James Richardson, in practice for over 20 years at the criminal bar, and editor of Archbold for many years. There is a database of approximately 3,000 cases. There is now a new service providing up-to-date and annotated text of relevant criminal legislation. Currently comprising four statutes (more to come), each statutory provision is displayed with the most recent amendments, repeals and modifications, together with a complete set of annotations, including commencement provisions, links to relevant case digests and subordinate legislation.
  • Serious Fraud Office is an independent government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud. The key criterion used by the Office deciding whether to accept a case is that the suspected fraud appears to be so serious or complex that its investigation should be carried out by those responsible for its prosecution. The site covers the organisation structure, how cases are dealt with, publications and speeches and international cooperation. There is also news of cases completed and, on occasion, cases in progress.
  • CourtServe (Courtel Communications) delivers a comprehensive court list distribution service in electronic format to the legal community in England and Wales. Courtel's business is geared to enhancing efficiency for court related professions by supplying a secure, reliable digital delivery service across a wide range of court lists.

    Criminal history section!

  • The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913 is "A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."

    "The Proceedings" is the name of the original published version. Here is what it says about these: "The Proceedings contain accounts of trials which took place at the Old Bailey. The first published collection of trials at the Old Bailey dates from 1674, and from 1678 accounts of the trials at each sessions (meeting of the Court) were regularly published. Inexpensive, and targeted initially at a popular audience, the Proceedings were produced shortly after the conclusion of each sessions and were initially a commercial success. But with the growth of newspapers and increasing publication costs the audience narrowed by the nineteenth century to a combination of lawyers and public officials. With few exceptions, this periodical was regularly published each time the sessions met (eight times a year until 1834, and then ten to twelve times a year) for 239 years, when publication came to a sudden halt in April 1913."

    The site is beautifully prepared, with the full text available as well as digital images of the original reports. There are also some pictures from legal material of the time together with an extensive Introduction. There is a particular section for schools, with the site obviously seen as material for school projects. The project is a collaboration between the Open University and the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield and is funded by various grants so that access can be free. There is to be a conference in July on the project called "The Metropolis on Trial", to be held at the Open University, Milton Keynes.

    Police

  • Police.UK gives information about crime and policing in each local area. There are also links to individual police force websites.
  • Bhatt Murphy is a firm specialising in human rights issues and who handle complex and serious cases against state agencies including the police, prison and immigration authorities. The site offers a series of "timelines" - these are histories of particular legal areas relating to police misconduct and prisoners rights, indicating the legislation, political initiatives, campaigns and case law of each area. There are timelines for Police Misconduct, Tariff Setting For Life Sentenced Prisoners, Deaths in Custody, Immigration Detention, Parole Hearings and the Prison Disciplinary System. There is also a very useful set of links to other bodies involved in these issues. Partner Fiona Murphy says "We hope that the site will be useful for clients, campaign groups, students and other lawyers working in this area."
  • www.PoliceStationReps.com has a secondary title of "Find a Police Station Representative NOW". The site aims to put solicitors in touch with police station reps around the UK. Accredited Police Station Representatives can register on the site for free and their name will subsequently come up for appropriate searches. All the names listed have been checked against the LSC's register of accredited police station representatives.
  • Bishop & Light provide case summaries on Crime, Mental Health and Actions Against the Police. These include link to the TLR where relevant and also to Smith Bernal (although you can only get the full transcript from SB if you have paid for Casetrack).

    Prisons

  • HM Prison Service provides information on prisons with information on opening hours and how to get there, a section "about prison life" and prison statistics and links to other information related to prisons.
  • Scottish Prison Service provides information on Scottish prisons particularly aimed at the families of prisoners.
  • The Prisons Handbook site is created by Mark Leech. The site provides sample chapters from the book and also news and comment on the penal system.
  • The Howard League, an independent charity working for humane and effective reform of the criminal justice and penal system in England and Wales and with consultative status with the United Nations. There is news and campaiging information and links to other organisations in the same area.
  • Bhatt Murphy is a firm specialising in human rights issues and who handle complex and serious cases against state agencies including the police, prison and immigration authorities. The site offers a series of "timelines" - these are histories of particular legal areas relating to police misconduct and prisoners rights, indicating the legislation, political initiatives, campaigns and case law of each area. There are timelines for Police Misconduct, Tariff Setting For Life Sentenced Prisoners, Deaths in Custody, Immigration Detention, Parole Hearings and the Prison Disciplinary System. There is also a very useful set of links to other bodies involved in these issues.

    Magistrates

  • Magistrates are trained, unpaid members of their local community who work part-time and deal with less serious criminal cases, such as minor theft, criminal damage, public disorder and motoring offences.
  • The Magistrates' Association is a membership organisation with over 28,000 members, and it represents over 80% of serving volunteer magistrates.
  • Office of the Chief Magistrate.


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