There’s no Law Like an Old Law

The Law Commission has proposed a ‘clean sweep’ of old sentencing law which it says could save more than £250 million in a decade by avoiding unnecessary appeals and sentencing delays. The commission, which published its code today, says judges have to deal with more than 1,300 pages of law filled with ‘outdated and inaccessible’ language. The law is contained in more than 65 different acts of parliament and is not coherently structured. The commission says this makes it difficult for judges to identify and apply the law they need, which can slow the sentencing process and lead to mistakes. Anyone convicted under the commission’s code, should it come into force, would be automatically sentenced under current law. As well as making the law comprehensible and clear, the commission the code will ensure legislation is drafted in gender neutral terms. Much of the current legislation refers to ‘him’ and ‘his’ when referring to the offender or victim.
The Od Bailey – Hanging Court
  Law commissioner Professor David Ormerod QC said current sentencing laws are not up to standard: ‘The public expect clear, transparent and most of all fair judgments. Far too often this is not the case.’ Responding to the code, justice minister Rory Stewart said: ‘Any measures to reduce complexity and increase efficiency in our courts are welcomed – especially if they lead to greater clarity in sentencing.’
The top ten weirdest laws in Britain today
  1. All beached whales and sturgeons must be offered to the Reigning Monarch
  2. No person shall, in the course of a business, import into England, potatoes which he knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, are from Poland
  3. It is Illegal to be drunk in the pub
  4. It is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement (as well as any ladder, wheel, pole, cask, placard, showboard, or hoop) in the Metropolitan Police District
  5. MPs are not allowed to wear armour in Parliament
  6. It is an offence to be drunk and in charge of cattle in England and Wales
  7. It is illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances
  8. It is an offence to beat or shake any carpet, rug, or mat (except door mats before 8am) in a thoroughfare in the Metropolitan Police District
  9. It is illegal to jump the queue in the Tube ticket hall
  10. It is illegal to activate your burglar alarm without first nominating a ‘Key-Holder’ who can switch it off in your absence
Sources: Law Gazette, The Independent

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.