Party Wall agreements

Your neighbour is doing something in their house, they won't tell you what it is, they have submitted plans to the council for building control, but they won't tell what your neighbour is doing either. You suspect your neighbour may need a party wall agreement for the work, but they haven't offered you for one. You are now compelled sit there while work continues without an agreement or engage a surveyor at around £1500 to intervene on the assumption you may need a party wall agreement, which is both a financial risk and a declaration of war on your neighbour.

Why not ensure that building control and planning permission will not be issued without the correct Party Wall agreements in place, that way the neighbours a protected as of right not the good graces of the people carrying out the work.

Why is this idea important?

Your neighbour is doing something in their house, they won't tell you what it is, they have submitted plans to the council for building control, but they won't tell what your neighbour is doing either. You suspect your neighbour may need a party wall agreement for the work, but they haven't offered you for one. You are now compelled sit there while work continues without an agreement or engage a surveyor at around £1500 to intervene on the assumption you may need a party wall agreement, which is both a financial risk and a declaration of war on your neighbour.

Why not ensure that building control and planning permission will not be issued without the correct Party Wall agreements in place, that way the neighbours a protected as of right not the good graces of the people carrying out the work.

Repeal s.12-19 of the Legal Services Act 2007

Repeal sections 12 to 19 and Schedule 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007. These sections preclude anyone other than a solicitor or an exempt individual from offering legal advice or acting as an advocate in court.

It should be up to the individual where and from whom they seek advice and assistance. If they have limited funds which prevent them from affording the services of a solicitor, they should then have access to lay advice without the need for the judiciary's permission. It should be the right of the individual to access legal advice from wherever they so choose,  and there should be no barriers to access to justice.

The principle of lay advice is well accepted, if, bizarrely, illegal if the lay advisor is not employed by a solicitor. As recently reported on Radio 4, in a Magistrates court, there are instances where the only person with legal qualifications in court is the clerk.

In Family Law, in July 2010, the President of the Family Courts issued new guidance which, at paragraph 27, acknowledges that lay advisors may be paid for 'the provision of legal advice in connection with court proceedings'. Charities which provide legal advice services, but from lay advisors, to paying members, may technically be found to be breaking the law.

 




There should be no restriction to a lay advisor acting as an advocate (speaking for their client in court). Where one party is represented and the other is not, such restrictions may impinge on the party's convention right to a fair trial, and fails to afford an equality in arms. Nerves, anxiety, stress, a lack of familiarity with the court environment and learning difficulties such as dyslexia put the litigant in person at a significant disadvantage when compared to a represented party. The Official Solicitor, who might assist those most severely disadvantaged by disability was recently reported to be unable to take on more cases at this time.

The right to have a lay advisor speak on your behalf in court is currently subject to judicial discretion. This right should be unfettered, enshrined in statute, and made available to all.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal sections 12 to 19 and Schedule 3 of the Legal Services Act 2007. These sections preclude anyone other than a solicitor or an exempt individual from offering legal advice or acting as an advocate in court.

It should be up to the individual where and from whom they seek advice and assistance. If they have limited funds which prevent them from affording the services of a solicitor, they should then have access to lay advice without the need for the judiciary's permission. It should be the right of the individual to access legal advice from wherever they so choose,  and there should be no barriers to access to justice.

The principle of lay advice is well accepted, if, bizarrely, illegal if the lay advisor is not employed by a solicitor. As recently reported on Radio 4, in a Magistrates court, there are instances where the only person with legal qualifications in court is the clerk.

In Family Law, in July 2010, the President of the Family Courts issued new guidance which, at paragraph 27, acknowledges that lay advisors may be paid for 'the provision of legal advice in connection with court proceedings'. Charities which provide legal advice services, but from lay advisors, to paying members, may technically be found to be breaking the law.

 




There should be no restriction to a lay advisor acting as an advocate (speaking for their client in court). Where one party is represented and the other is not, such restrictions may impinge on the party's convention right to a fair trial, and fails to afford an equality in arms. Nerves, anxiety, stress, a lack of familiarity with the court environment and learning difficulties such as dyslexia put the litigant in person at a significant disadvantage when compared to a represented party. The Official Solicitor, who might assist those most severely disadvantaged by disability was recently reported to be unable to take on more cases at this time.

The right to have a lay advisor speak on your behalf in court is currently subject to judicial discretion. This right should be unfettered, enshrined in statute, and made available to all.

MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO CONVICT ON WORD ALONE

The government must do whatever is necessary to protect the falsely accused (you could be one one day) by making it impossible to convict an innocent person just because a jury could be convinced by the prosecution despite no evidence except someone's word being available. This is a nightmare currently playing out in our courts today and you only need to go along to any crown court today and you will see people being convicted simply on someone's word. If you think this is some made up notion log onto the SAFARI website (along with all the other 'innocent' websites and see for yourself). http://safari-uk.org

We constantly hear how the British justice system is one of the best in the world and a role model on which other systems are based, but this is a lie. In comparison the French and American models are by far better and have fewer miscarriages of justice than does our system. They also don't need an organisation like the Criminal Cases Review Commission which proves why there systems are better.

The previous Labour government went out of its way to reduce the justice available to individuals, seeming almost hell bent on ignoring 'justice for all' and achieving 'convictions at any cost', and all with the goal of 'justice for victims'. The true justice would be to ensure the guilty went to prison whilst the innocent were vindicated. Under the current system, this is a mockery as any person can be found guilty based on someone's word, you do not need proof or evidence. It is that easy to ruin someone's life.

Those that do end up in prison have one hell of a time trying to clear their names, which if by some miracle they manage to do, the damage is already done, i.e. they lose their job, family, house etc. It is far harder to reverse the decision once it is made, and under the current appeals process what actually constitutes grounds for appeal are usually ignored.This is a frightening way for our country to proceed. There is no longer an innocent until proved guilty culture but an ongoing presumption of guilt from the moment someone is charged, in which every step of the way a defendant is forced to prove his innocence, even though this should be the prosecution or accuser's job.

Why is this idea important?

The government must do whatever is necessary to protect the falsely accused (you could be one one day) by making it impossible to convict an innocent person just because a jury could be convinced by the prosecution despite no evidence except someone's word being available. This is a nightmare currently playing out in our courts today and you only need to go along to any crown court today and you will see people being convicted simply on someone's word. If you think this is some made up notion log onto the SAFARI website (along with all the other 'innocent' websites and see for yourself). http://safari-uk.org

We constantly hear how the British justice system is one of the best in the world and a role model on which other systems are based, but this is a lie. In comparison the French and American models are by far better and have fewer miscarriages of justice than does our system. They also don't need an organisation like the Criminal Cases Review Commission which proves why there systems are better.

The previous Labour government went out of its way to reduce the justice available to individuals, seeming almost hell bent on ignoring 'justice for all' and achieving 'convictions at any cost', and all with the goal of 'justice for victims'. The true justice would be to ensure the guilty went to prison whilst the innocent were vindicated. Under the current system, this is a mockery as any person can be found guilty based on someone's word, you do not need proof or evidence. It is that easy to ruin someone's life.

Those that do end up in prison have one hell of a time trying to clear their names, which if by some miracle they manage to do, the damage is already done, i.e. they lose their job, family, house etc. It is far harder to reverse the decision once it is made, and under the current appeals process what actually constitutes grounds for appeal are usually ignored.This is a frightening way for our country to proceed. There is no longer an innocent until proved guilty culture but an ongoing presumption of guilt from the moment someone is charged, in which every step of the way a defendant is forced to prove his innocence, even though this should be the prosecution or accuser's job.

Restore Public Confidence In The Law

To Repeal whatever legislation is neccessary to remove the law-making powers from the select few in sitting in parliament (or in the case of Wales, the Welsh Assembly), and to put decisions for accepting any new legislation, or repealing any existing legislation, to the public vote.
The decision of said vote could be used as the decision to enact, or repeal, said legislation for a nominated period of time (such as ten years) before said legislation can again be put to public vote. Forums such as this could be used to choose the laws to be voted on, and the votes could be held simultaneously to the general or local authority elections.

Why is this idea important?

To Repeal whatever legislation is neccessary to remove the law-making powers from the select few in sitting in parliament (or in the case of Wales, the Welsh Assembly), and to put decisions for accepting any new legislation, or repealing any existing legislation, to the public vote.
The decision of said vote could be used as the decision to enact, or repeal, said legislation for a nominated period of time (such as ten years) before said legislation can again be put to public vote. Forums such as this could be used to choose the laws to be voted on, and the votes could be held simultaneously to the general or local authority elections.

Laws should only stipulate the intent for which they have been written.

Each law should only contain a statement which stipulates the "Intent Statement". The Judge should be given the power to make his own judgement as to whether the accused has broken this intend and the extent to which it has been broken . Any law which has masses of details, ifs and buts, is gotten around by the legal defense. Judges should be empowed to simply make their own personal judgement based on the simple one line "Intent Statement".

Why is this idea important?

Each law should only contain a statement which stipulates the "Intent Statement". The Judge should be given the power to make his own judgement as to whether the accused has broken this intend and the extent to which it has been broken . Any law which has masses of details, ifs and buts, is gotten around by the legal defense. Judges should be empowed to simply make their own personal judgement based on the simple one line "Intent Statement".

Miscarriages of Justice

 

The appeals system needs overhauling. Evidence used in the trial should not, automatically be excluded from an appeal.

 

Identification evidence needs to be positive, not partial, if the case is murder. Witnesses who attend ID parades should, absolutely, not meet each other; discuss or qualify the accuracy of each other’s choices. This is in our laws but, is not adhered to in police stations or in court.

 

In murder cases, circumstantial evidence should not be used to seek a conviction, there must be something to, unequivocally, link the defendant to the crime, not just hearsay or an imaginative prosecutor.

 

If a defendant/appellant can show poor or negligent defending, they should be able to appeal. 

 

Alleged 'cell confessions' should be inadmissable in court.

 

If a witness is shown, in court and under oath, to have lied, their evidence should be stricken from the case. Especially if they are Police Officers.

 

There are many more problems with the justice system, these are just the ones I have experienced myself, in a Miscarriage of Justice case.

Why is this idea important?

 

The appeals system needs overhauling. Evidence used in the trial should not, automatically be excluded from an appeal.

 

Identification evidence needs to be positive, not partial, if the case is murder. Witnesses who attend ID parades should, absolutely, not meet each other; discuss or qualify the accuracy of each other’s choices. This is in our laws but, is not adhered to in police stations or in court.

 

In murder cases, circumstantial evidence should not be used to seek a conviction, there must be something to, unequivocally, link the defendant to the crime, not just hearsay or an imaginative prosecutor.

 

If a defendant/appellant can show poor or negligent defending, they should be able to appeal. 

 

Alleged 'cell confessions' should be inadmissable in court.

 

If a witness is shown, in court and under oath, to have lied, their evidence should be stricken from the case. Especially if they are Police Officers.

 

There are many more problems with the justice system, these are just the ones I have experienced myself, in a Miscarriage of Justice case.

Law against suing for trivial issues

A lot of what is blamed on Heath and Safety killjoys is actually the fault of the litigious culture we live in and risk aversion by the insurance industry. So it isn’t the H&S people saying you can’t do it, but rather the fear/actuality of being sued or not being covered by insurance. So activities that a decent H&S risk assessment may allow get banned for other reasons.

Look what happens when a child gets injured on a school trip; the poor teachers get into all sorts of trouble for “failing to supervise/risk assess, etc.” to the point where they don’t want to be bothered to organise trips. It’s not H&S that therefore is cancelling the trip but the litigation problem.

So we need a Law curbing the ability of people to sue over silly things lest we end up in the exceedingly litigatious state that the USA is in.

Why is this idea important?

A lot of what is blamed on Heath and Safety killjoys is actually the fault of the litigious culture we live in and risk aversion by the insurance industry. So it isn’t the H&S people saying you can’t do it, but rather the fear/actuality of being sued or not being covered by insurance. So activities that a decent H&S risk assessment may allow get banned for other reasons.

Look what happens when a child gets injured on a school trip; the poor teachers get into all sorts of trouble for “failing to supervise/risk assess, etc.” to the point where they don’t want to be bothered to organise trips. It’s not H&S that therefore is cancelling the trip but the litigation problem.

So we need a Law curbing the ability of people to sue over silly things lest we end up in the exceedingly litigatious state that the USA is in.