Advocacy accreditation scheme back on track

first_imgPlans to introduce the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) are back on track. The Ministry of Justice and Legal Services Commission yesterday confirmed that Crown court advocacy fees for publicly funded criminal cases will not be linked to the level of accreditation gained under the new scheme. The Criminal Bar Association last week appeared to withdraw its engagement with the controversial scheme, over its opposition to proposals mooted by the LSC to link the payment of advocates to the QASA grade, without any higher payment for silks. But yesterday the MoJ’s director of access to justice, Catherine Lee, and the LSC’s director of legal aid commissioning and contract management, Hugh Barrett, wrote a joint letter to the CBA chair Max Hill QC addressing the concerns he had raised. The letter said: ‘The process to establish QASA is being taken forward by the regulators. Issues relating to Crown court advocacy fees are not linked to it. ‘The setting of fees is a matter for the MoJ, who have no current plans to change the Advocates Graduated Fees Scheme (AGFS). The use of QCs will continue to be determined by judges and QCs will be paid under the AGFS.’ It added: ‘The government is committed to ensuring long-term sustainability and value for money in the legal aid market and, as you know, intends to consult on detailed proposals for the introduction of competition in criminal legal aid.’ Hill responded: ‘The letter appears to be very clear, to the effect that there is no link between QASA level and remuneration. This is the declaration which we were seeking, and we welcome it in the constructive way it has been drafted. ‘It was a fundamental point that needed to be addressed and we were right to make it.’ Chair of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates, Jo Cooper, said: ‘The LSC has a seat at the QASA advisory group table and it is legitimate for it to consider the resource implications of the scheme. ‘We consider the scheme, as currently designed, to be flawed. One element of that is that it will make advocacy work more expensive.’last_img read more

Parents welcome baby on day of total solar eclipse, name her in its honor

first_imgParents welcome baby on day of total solar eclipse, name her in its honor Published: August 21, 2017 9:35 PM EDT Author: WTTV WTTV A couple decided to name their baby Eclipse in honor of the rare astronomical event marking their little girl’s birth Monday.Parents Freedom and Paul Eubanks welcomed baby Eclipse to the world at 8:04 a.m. at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. The healthy baby entered the world weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring 19 inches in length.The decision to legally name her Eclipse was done at the last minute, according to the hospital. Paul and Freedom initially chose the name Violet for her, according to WSOC.“I kind of felt like it was meant to happen, to have her on this day,” her mother told the station. As for a nickname? “We’re probably going to call her Clipsey,” Freedom said.Eclipse has one sibling, an older sister, who’s 2 years old.center_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARElast_img read more

Clash of the titans

first_img District Judge Spencer sits at Teesside Combined Court The Court of Appeal decision in Petrodel Resources Ltd and others v Prest and Others [2012] EWCA Civ 1395, [2012] All ER (D) 293 (Oct) (as Prest v Prest) marks a collision between chancery and family. Family lost. The decisions of the heroes of the Family Division of the High Court – Moylan, Bodey, Munby and Mostyn – who in classic mythology, though moral exemplars, are also mere demigods, were simply crushed underfoot. The judgments are summarised below. Mr Justice Moylan heard the financial remedy proceedings of Mr and Mrs Prest in the High Court. It was a very difficult matter. Mr Prest failed to provide any proper disclosure and his evidence ‘consisted significantly of obfuscation and dissembling’ (Lord Justice Thorpe, paragraph 12). Mr Prest also failed to comply with interim orders. The conclusion was, after drawing appropriate adverse inferences from Mr Prest’s conduct, that he was worth about £37.5m, and that Mrs Prest should be awarded £17.5m. But almost all of Mr Prest’s wealth was in a series of companies. He was the sole shareholder and director. Save for one property worth about £3m, all the properties subject to the judge’s final order were owned by those companies. The judge was aware of the significant problems of ordering large-scale share transfers, because of the mist surrounding the true position, and also the issues of enforcement against overseas property. Lord Justice Thorpe at paragraph 43 summarises the decision: ‘Accordingly, in the order giving effect to the judgment, the husband was ordered to transfer or cause to be transferred to the wife the London properties together with three properties in Nevis and the shares in a Nevis company. Following transfer the properties were to be sold and the net proceeds of sale applied in satisfaction of the lump sum.’ This ‘enforcement’ of the award caused the three appellant companies to intervene to appeal the decision to transfer the company-owned properties to Mrs Prest. Mr Justice Moylan decided that, because of Mr Prest’s unconstrained dealings with company income and assets during the marriage, Mr Prest was entitled to these properties ‘in either possession or reversion’ (section 24(1)(a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973). Therefore this property was directly susceptible to an order for transfer/sale in the Family Division. The evidence showed that Mr Prest was the same as the companies. Any other directors were mere ciphers. There were no minority shareholders to be disadvantaged. Mr Prest drew monies from the company for considerable personal and family expenditure during the marriage without asking or reporting to anyone, and the accounting of such drawings was certainly vague. It was as if the assets, including the properties, were held under a bare trust, or the companies were his nominees. Accordingly, Salomon v A Salomon and Company Ltd [1897] AC 22 did not prevent the court from making an order against a person ‘entitled’ in the section 24(1)(a) sense, as Mr Prest was found to be, requiring that person to exercise their control, so that property was transferred to the wife. And if not – was the truly obstructive husband to ‘get away’ with all that wealth, and the wife to get very little, because a rule of company law impeded the Family Division from making an order into more than a bit of scrap paper? The appellant companies said that the Family Division simply did not have this power. At paragraph 219, Mr Justice Moylan had rejected any finding of impropriety, that is, using the company structure to avoid or conceal liability (Ben Hashem v Al Shayif [2008] EWHC 2380 (Fam); [2009] 1 FLR 115). Absent that finding, and other exceptions not relevant in this matter, the judge had no power to make the structuring/enforcement orders he did. In a forceful judgment, Lord Justice Rimer wholly agreed with the appellants. Lord Justice Rimer was in no doubt that the companies, and the other directors, danced to Mr Prest’s tune. However, despite this, the properties were assets of the companies. Mr Prest was not ‘entitled’ in any sense which fitted with the words of section 24(1)(a). To decide otherwise was contrary to the proper meaning of those words, and to long-established principles of company law. There was no impropriety, so the veil could not be pierced. Therefore the Family Division did not have the power to make the orders appealed. Fairness did not enter into it. It was contrary to law and that was the end of the matter. The majority view of the Court of Appeal is summarised at paragraph 97: ‘The judge’s different conclusion that such properties were, or were “effectively”, the husband’s property was based on reasoning that was internally inconsistent, contrary to principle and wrong.’ The triumph of the long-established and fundamental principle of Salomon, over any principles of fairness which the Family Division might wish to pursue, was crystallised by Lord Justice Rimer at paragraph 155: ‘A one-man company does not metamorphose into the one man simply because the person with a wish to abstract its assets is his wife.’ Lord Justice Rimer set out how and why Mr Justice Moylan and others have been so wrong for so long. Lord Justice Thorpe, while disagreeing, described the judgment as ‘powerful’ and ‘cogent’. This mere mortal has to accept that the Family Division has strained the meaning of section 24(1)(a), and its powers over the separate entity, which in law a company plainly is, perhaps beyond breaking point, in the interests of fairness. Lord Justice Rimer dismisses longstanding authorities from the Family Division starting with dicta of Lord Denning and Lord Justice Cumming-Bruce’s reasoning in Nicholas v Nicholas [1984] FLR 285 (Petrodel at paragraphs 129 and 130). Mrs Prest currently intends to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court. Victorious titans should perhaps remember that in myth, they, in their turn, became old gods, and were then cast down by new, even more powerful gods. There was as little kindness shown to the titans by victorious Zeus as was shown to the heroes by the Court of Appeal.last_img read more

High Court showdown over facial recognition technology begins

first_imgA civil liberties group is taking on a police force which it says has scanned thousands of people’s faces without their knowledge or consent at high-profile events such as the 2017 Champions League Final and Ed Sheeran concerts.The High Court, sitting at Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre, today began hearing Liberty’s challenge against South Wales Police’s deployment of automated facial recognition software. The civil liberties group is representing Ed Bridges, who believes his face was scanned by the force at a peaceful anti-arms protest and while he was doing his Christmas shopping.Liberty says South Wales Police has deployed the technology more than 50 times over the last two years, including at the Champions League Final in 2017 between Juventus and Real Madrid, Six Nations rugby games, and Ed Sheeran concerts. The group says it has ‘come to be used routinely’ as part of the force’s everyday policing.Commenting ahead of the hearing, Bridges said it was ‘hard to see how the police could possibly justify such a disproportionate use of such an intrusive surveillance tool’.Megan Goulding, a lawyer at Liberty, said: ‘Facial recognition technology snatches our biometric data without our knowledge or consent, making a mockery of our right to privacy. It is discriminatory and takes us another step towards being routinely monitored wherever we go, fundamentally altering our relationship with state powers and changing public spaces. It belongs to a police state and has no place on our streets.’The civil liberties group says technology indiscriminately scans, maps and checks the identity of every person within the camera’s range, and can lead to innocent people being stopped and questioned. Liberty also says studies have shown facial recognition technology disproportionately misidentifies women, and individuals from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.South Wales Police said it would not be commenting until the proceedings have concluded. The Gazette was guided to a section of the force’s website explaining how the automated facial recognition software works. The website states that operationally it is used to match real-time CCTV to a watchlist of persons of interest and alert the force when detected, and compare a crime scene image to a large database of images. The force says the software cannot used to identify individuals unless they are on the watchlist, it can be deployed at the ‘biggest events’ across South Wales, and it ‘greatly assists us by allowing resources to be deployed elsewhere in protecting our communities’.Liberty has instructed Matrix Chambers barristers Dan Squires and Aidan Wills to act for Bridges.last_img read more

Siemens wins first Vectron order

first_imgEUROPE: Siemens Mobility announced on December 22 that it had signed the first contract for supply of new locomotives from its modular Vectron family. München-based leasing company Railpool GmbH has ordered six locos for use on passenger and freight services in Germany and Austria.The contracts were signed at the Siemens plant in München-Allach by Railpool’s Executive Director Dr Walter Breinl, the CEO of Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility Jörn F Sens and head of locomotive sales Jens Chlebowski. Deliveries are expected to begin in mid-2012.The Vectron family was formally launched at the InnoTrans trade fair in September 2010, with four demonstrators on show: AC, DC and multi-system electric locos and a diesel-electric variant.The initial order covers six locomotives rated at 6 400 kW for 15 kV 16·7 Hz operation, to be used on cross-border freight and passenger services at speeds up to 200 km/h The 87-tonne Bo-Bos will be assembled at München-Allach, with bogies coming from Graz.Brienl said the leasing company was looking for ‘a high degree of flexibility’ when selecting locomotive, which made the Vectron concept ideal for its requirements. Railpool GmbH was founded in 2008 as a joint venture by KfW IPEX-Bank and HSH Nordbank. It leases rolling stock, locomotives, as well as EMUs and DMUs.The Vectron family has been developed from Siemens’ established Eurosprinter and Eurorunner design, of which more than 1 600 locomotives have been built. The design features a crashworthy cab design with energy absorption and a modular internal layout permitting easy reconfiguration if necessary for future applications.‘We are very pleased that a renowned company like Railpool has decided in favor of our Vectron’, said Chlebowski. ‘Railpool is the first customer to choose this modern, high-performance, reliable locomotive with its very wide range of possible applications. What pleases me in particular is that Railpool will enable other customers to be exposed to Vectron and won over by its convincing qualities.last_img read more

World’s First 10-Gigabit Wireless Link for E & Q-Band

first_imgELVA-1, manufacturer of wireless communication equipment, has introduced a full-duplex 10 Gbps Series of Q-band (40.5 to 43.5 GHz) and E-band (71 to 76/81 to 86 GHz) mm-wave radio bridges. The PPC-10G broadband link provides full-duplex data rates of up to 10 Gbps in a single, zero-footprint, all-outdoor solution. Its maximum operating distance is up to 20 km (12 miles) for links equipped with 2 ft. antennas. The link is intended for use in point-to-point applications such as 4G/LTE Backhaul, Corporate Campus Networks, IPTV, and Wireless ISP backbone.The PPC-10G 10-Gig millimeter wave platform is based on state-of-the-art MMIC chips, which support QAM 256 (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) in digital data radio communications. QAM 256 modulation uses 8 bits per symbol. Using QAM 256, PPC-10G requires only 2 GHz of bandwidth for its 10 Gpbs data rate.One of the key features of PPC-10G is Adaptive Code and Modulation (ACM) support. In rainy conditions, its built-in ACM retains connectivity by decreasing link throughput. It adapts the modulation scheme to obtain the highest data rate for the given conditions. By reverting to lower-order modulation schemes of 128 QAM, 64 QAM, 32 QAM, 16 QAM or 8 QAM, the link can support a reliable connection, even in heavy rainfall. As the weather clears, throughput automatically increases to maximum.One advantage of millimeter wave technology is that up to four PPC-10G parallel links may be installed at the same point-to-point locations, and aggregated into one 40 Gbps channel with no mutual interference.With unparalleled capacity in the wireless link market, ELVA-1’s PPC-10G is available in either the licensed 40.5 to 43.5 GHz (Q-band) or the lightly licensed 70/80 GHz (E-band) frequency formats with 1 ft. or 2 ft. antennas. It utilizes Ethernet protocol, which is the evolving standard for switches and routers available from a variety of telecommunication equipment manufacturers. This device is a fully-outdoor radio link, designed for temperature variations between -50°C (-58F) and +65°C (+150F), and humidity up to 100%.These links can also be equipped with built-in high-grade, high-performance Ethernet level 2 switches with advanced configuration options, including support for SyncE and IEEE1588v2 (TC, BC), as well as CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface) for up 9.8 Gpbs connectivity.last_img read more

Signal Hound’s Vector Signal Generator Now Supports 64-bit Linux Systems

first_imgSince its release, the 6 GHz vector signal generator – VSG60A – from Signal Hound has been getting some great traction. Customers adopted the device as soon as it was launched and according to Signal Hound there was no ‘uphill climb’ sales rate that most products experience i.e. sales start to increase only when marketing takes effect. The generator has been a solid seller for Signal Hound from day one.While a large part of the VSG’s success is due to the high number of preprogrammed modulation types and impairments that can be configured and controlled by the software, this success can also be attributed to its well-documented API – providing application developers with the ability to continuously stream I/Q data to the signal generator at arbitrary sample rates up the 51.2 MSPS, among other things. The possibilities opened by the API of Signal Hound devices are a big draw to their products, and the VSG60A is no different.However, until recently the VSG60A’s API only ran on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. This is no longer the case. Signal Hound has introduced Version 1.0.3 of the VSG API  that now provides support for 64-bit Linux systems and is bundled in their SDK, which is available as a free download. The SDK download includes a manual with instructions, best practices, and a complete function listing so you can get up and running with your own projects. The API functions identically to the Windows version, so if you’re familiar with the VSG60A’s code samples and documentation you’re already ahead in getting started with your new Linux application.To get started, download the SDK and open the README.txt file in signal_hound_sdk >device_apis > vsg60_series > linux.last_img read more

Ojitani edges Wolf to defend national judo title

first_img Takeshi Ojitani, Aaron Wolf Takeshi Ojitani (right) takes on Aaron Wolf in the final of the open-weight national judo championships on Saturday. | KYODO RELATED PHOTOS KEYWORDS IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img Takeshi Ojitani secured his second straight national championship on Saturday, winning the open-weight tournament for the third time in his career after defeating Aaron Wolf on points in the golden score extra period.Ojitani, who won the title for the first time in 2014, downed Ryu Shichinohe for the second straight year in the semifinals with a vertical four-quarter hold before two late penalties from Wolf in the final handed the reigning champion the title at Nippon Budokan. Ojitani, the first back-to-back winner of the meet since Keiji Suzuki achieved the feat in 2005, secured his place in the world championships in Budapest this summer.“I always kept it in my mind to go on the attack when I start to tire,” Ojitani said. “I couldn’t show my kind of judo in the first two rounds, but was told by my mentor to be tenacious throughout and I stuck to that.”Hisayoshi Harasawa, last summer’s Olympic silver medalist in the over-100-kg division, went out in the third round but will also be at the worlds given his records in international meets.“He (Ojitani) isn’t eye-catching but deserves to win the tournament for the solid manner in which he keeps getting wins,” Japan coach Kosei Inoue said. “We’d like to fight together and make him become the best in the world. For Harasawa, what he feels (of the loss) and how he progresses from here is important.”Ojitani missed out on a berth for the Rio Games after finishing seventh at the Grand Slam Tokyo in 2015. But he bounced back to win the 2016 championship in December, and claimed his first national invitational weight class championships in the over-100-kg class on April 2.“I got into my rhythm from the quarterfinals. (Wolf) was strong, he had power and wasn’t running out of stamina,” said the 24-year-old. “Not making the Rio Olympics has given me the motivation to drive on.”Beaten finalist Wolf will be at the worlds to fight in the 100-kg division, and looked back positively on the tournament that ended with a defeat to Ojitani, who is about 40 kg heavier.“It was good to end the tournament in a decent position given it was one of those to prepare for the worlds,” said Wolf, whose father is from the United States. “It’s a plus that I gained the belief I can cut it against judokas from overseas too.”Shohei Ono, the 73-kg gold medalist in Rio, headed into the meet weighing 78 kg but lost in his first match. His second-round match to a 95-kg opponent went into overtime and lasted a brutal 9-minutes, 54 seconds.“I came with a mission as a gold medalist and competed in a tournament in which the word ‘defeat’ comes before anything else. I have no regrets,” said Ono, who had the crowd on their feet as he attempted his favorite inner-thigh and big outer reap throws.“I’m not losing heart. I’ll build on this,” the 25-year-old said. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESlast_img read more

House Finance Committee Taking Public Comment From Kenai On Budget

first_imgThe Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is encouraging Alaskans to testify on the following… FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The House Finance budget subcommittees have concluded their deliberations on Operating and Mental Health Budgets and will take public comment from a variety of sites around the state, with Kenai scheduled for Thursday. Community-based services provide jobs for health care professionals and paraprofessionals, all of whom contribute to a healthy workforce and strong Alaskan economy.Community-based services include mental health and substance abuse treatment, health care, housing assistance, assisted living, family caregiver and natural supports, case management, education and training for providers and caregivers, peer support, transportation, and senior supports like adult day programs and meals.Alaskans with disabilities are more likely to live meaningful and productive lives with appropriate treatment and supports that help people remain stable and safe in community—and out of expensive emergency or institutional care.We support a fiscal plan based on diverse revenue sources so we can maintain programs and services that provide for Alaskans’ basic needs. Thursday, March 2, 2017                           House Finance Room 5191:00 – 3:30 p.m. = Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su & Seward Public comment will be taken via the Legislative Information Offices in each city.last_img read more

Minister Broomes makes contribution to Victory Valley footballers

first_imgIN an effort to keep the youths of Victory Valley, one of the deprived communities in Linden, meaningfully engaged through sport, a resident, John Brown, has embarked on a community football tournament which is held every Sunday at the Community’s playfield.Junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, on Sunday made a contribution of the winning trophy, medals and balls to the teams and pledged her continuous support for the community competition, since it is geared towards positive development of the youths.Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira also donated footballs and jerseys to the players. “They have youths in the Valley that got great skill but we never got the chance to go out and play for people see we, so we decide to bring the people to we…. I expect betterment for the youths in the Valley from this” promoter Brown said. Teams from all over Linden are expected to participate in the tournament. Minister Broomes, in her short comment, said that she will continue to support not only sports development but development as a whole in Victory Valley. She stressed that this sort of community development should not be only in Linden, but the entire Region 10. “I am here to support you,” she reiteratedMP Figueira said that himself and Minister Broomes, in an effort to see community development, have been working assiduously with the youths and residents of Victory Valley. “We believe sports can be a vehicle to develop in the community and that is why we are happy that Minister Broomes has seen it fitting to partner with us so that we can continue to promote football within the community. This will have a spin-off effect on the other communities. Figueira attested to the many prolific footballers that came out of Victory Valley. “With the help and assistance, much more talent can be identified and developed.”Renowned football promoter Kashif Mohammad is optimistic that this very little promotion will grow, as his did, into a national icon. He too commended the minister for supporting the initiative, since there is far too much negative rhetoric coming out of the Valley and this small promotion is the start for betterment.Chairman of Victory Valley CDC,  Roberts  said, “We thank you for the support minister, because football is the youths right now.”Victory Valley residents said that they will continue to support Minister Broomes, since she continues to support them not only in sports but in every area needed for development.  The community presented the minister with a custom-made t-shirt in expression of appreciation for all her charitable works.last_img read more