Duncan Lewis

Duncan Lewis is community care lawyers

can guide you through to help you

receive the support and care you need



Legal reformers have suggested a ‘divorce formula’ which would decide how to split assets between splitting couples.
The proposal have been put forward by the Law Commission which would end the long standing presumption that former spouses share the proceeds of their marriage equally.
But the new proposals would mean a divorcing individual could be allowed to retain all the property and ca




From September 1, 2012 the rights of squatters would be scrapped and a new law would take over where anyone invading private homes would face six months in jail.

The police until now were helpless from evicting squatters as soon as they moved in due to the civil nature of the issue and the home owner’s had to get a civil court order to get the squatters evicted which was time consuming, e




A figure from the Home Office has shown that police believed no crime had taken place following 11 percent of rape complaints.

In other words the police chose not to investigate rape complaints more often than any other type of violent crime, as one in nine allegations were written off.

When compared with other crimes such as reported burglaries only two percent was ignored, thre




Simon Crisp, 36, was jailed indefinitely for public protection after he was found guilty of trying twice to convince a 15 year old boy to perform a sex act online and for sharing sickening images of children with other perverts. The London Appeal Court had heard.
The indefinite jail sentence which is akin to a life sentence was given to him at the Preston Crown Court in March after increment




After a boy killed his foster carer the Scottish Association of Social Work has urged professionals to reassure would-be foster parents.
Dawn McKenzie of Hamilton, who was fostering a boy, was killed by the 13 year old. The boy, now 14, has not been named due to legal reasons has been sentenced to seven years for killing his carer.
The judge ordered that he be detained for seven years and




Lord Darzi, and health policy expert who was Gordon Brown’s health minister said that families need to ensure care for their elderly relatives and get the care they needed rather than completely relying on the NHS and local councils.

He said that the state should demand people take greater responsibility for the health and social care of themselves and their families.

He also ad




In a move to help pharmaceutical firms to help develop new drugs to tackle conditions like dementia, millions or medical records of people are going to be sold off to these Pharma companies.
The Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to change the NHS Constitution to allow patients data to be released for research.
The details released would be anonymous which would protect the priva




A report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in a report that prisoners on remand in England and Wales were being treated less well than convicted inmates and that improvements should be made to give a fair treatment to them while reducing costs.
Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in his report that the rule that remand prisoners should not be housed with convicted inmates




Almost one million people will be forced to work unpaid for six months if a new government work scheme is extended across the country, a think-tank has said.
A pilot of the community action programme (Cap), Under the Department for Work and Pensions has been completed which is to be rolled out to other areas after an announcement this autumn, people on jobseeker's allowance for longer than




An initiative by a range of partners in Hull including Hull City Council is to give gym passes as sentences to offenders who have been convicted of alcohol induced offences if they complete court orders and keep out of trouble for three months.
According to the Hull Citysafe the pilot is intended as a diversionary tactics for offenders, but critics say that taxpayers should not be paying for o




A Supreme Court ruling has confirmed that asylum seekers need not lie of their political beliefs as an excuse to claim asylum. People often lie about being prosecuted in their country, for their political beliefs, while seeking asylum in the UK.

The ruling has confirmed that the principle was applicable to political non-believers as well as to political activists.
In RT (Zimbabwe) v




The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that ‘opt out’ class action as proposed by the government would spark a new litigation industry’ around competition law and could discourage inward investment and growth.
Businesses needed incentives like reduced fines to take recourse in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which was the quicker and cheaper way of providing collective so




The Scottish Law Commission has launched a consultation on proposed changes to unfair terms and conditions hidden in the small print of contracts affecting consumers.

The commission wants the contract to be simpler.
The commission said competition for customers, fuelled by developments such as price comparison websites, meant some traders were hiding the true cost of a contract in th




Under an extraordinary expansion of UK legal jurisdiction being negotiated with the Central American country Honduras would mean cases originating in Honduras would end up before the Privy Council in Westminster.
The Central American state which has the highest homicide rate in the world was preparing to send appeal cases to the judicial committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).
The Honduran




The charity Mind has said that the mental health strategy called ‘No Health Without Mental Health’ has so far failed to improve the position of the patients.
The strategy by Government launched more than a year ago has not been implemented by the NHS which was failing people with mental health problems the charity had warned.
It is being said that patients in some areas had to wait at leas




After Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclay’s none too impressive testimony before the treasury select committee, members accused him of being calculative and deliberately misleading the Parliament.

Following the testimony the senior MPs have been discussing to bring in new powers which would make lying or misleading MPs during parliamentary committees a criminal offence.

It a




Under a new proposal, charging guidelines for criminals arrested for minor offences like minor assaults, theft and fraud could escape prosecution with prosecutors taking no further action on suspects, if they believe it is not proportionate to take them to court.

This is the biggest shake-up of charging guidelines for 20 years. Factors like cost and the length of trial would be taken into




Those prisoners who have been sent in for sexual offences will have to undergo mandatory lie detector tests on release from jails to prevent any re-offending. Sex offenders who pose high risk of committing further abuse will be recalled to prison or face a change of their parole conditions.
The prime minister’s office wants such compulsory tests for all high risk sex pests after a successful t




Michael Walsh, 85, fell from a balcony at the BMI Shelburne Hospital in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire after being left on his own despite being confused after an operation.
On 14 February 2009, Mr Walsh had walked through unlocked doors in his room and fell off the balcony and contacted pneumonia from the injuries he received and died the following day the Avlesbury Crown Court heard.




The new head of Northern Ireland Prison Service Director General Sue McAllister said the service needed to build up its intelligence about illegal substances through better relations between warders and inmates.
Prison Ombudsman Pauline McCabe wanted more to be done to tackle the problem of illicit drugs following the death of Aaron Hogg, 21, who was found dead in his Maghaberry Prison cell in




As a part of the Government’s Employment Law Review and following the Ministry of Justice’s consultation with businesses and the public, some of the fees to be charged would be lower than initially proposed.
Under the plans, from summer 2013, mediation by a judge is to cost £600 rather than the £750 proposed in the 2011 consultation. The lower fee to take the administratively simpler 'level 1'




It was a known fact but has been given an official stamp to it. The pensions enjoyed by the state workers are twice the size of those of their private counterparts it has been revealed by the Office for National Statistics.
This is despite working for fewer hours, and earning 30 per cent more than their private counterparts on an average.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistic




A government panel of experts is said to be considering whether socio-economic rights could be included in the hugely controversial existing Human Rights Act.
The inclusion would mean the right to claim benefits and enjoy a comfortable standard of living on the taxpayers money would become a human rights law. It would allow the unemployed to take the government to court if ministers did not p




The plan would mean the elderly could apply for a government backed loan to fund their care needs but the loan amount will have to be re paid by the children or relatives of the loved ones after they pass away.

The children might have to sell their parents home to clear the loans along with an interest on the loan. The government has said the rate of interest would be nominal and not com




The present practice of councils having their own eligibility criteria for social care and in turn restricting free care to only to those deemed to be more in need is going to be done away with.
The different threshold being set in by councils has created 152 different systems across England and more than 80% of the local authorities are taking advantage of such loophole to limit free care lik




The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, has said that he was concerned about the prevalence of internet pornography which was affecting teenage relationships with increasing incidents of violence.
The top prosecutor has warned that emerging research has shown that the exposure of young people to all sort of material was leading to a lot of abuse within teenage relationships.




The government has planned to provide, some big cities in England outside London, noteworthy extra powers and money in return for promises to work towards reducing youth unemployment, promote economic growth and speed up revival.
There are six cities in line to benefit with the proposed scheme which would be announced by the Cities Minister Greg Clark.
The cities are Birmingham, Bristol,




Those who come into the higher tax rate bracket and have not yet completed their self-assessment forms would have to declared any untaxed income they had earned before 2010 and those who are willing to come forward will only face a reduced penalties of £200, as well as a fine amounting to 10 per cent of their unpaid tax.
Fines are usually up to 100 per cent of unpaid tax; while, on the spot, f




Two people with mental health problem whose names have been withheld on their request have applied for judicial review of the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) a computer led test which determines the eligibility for sickness and disability benefits.

Their lawyers have requested the court that the computer led test was discriminatory against people with mental health problems




Governments ‘open data’ plans would divulge huge amount of information which would concern about public services covering health, education and crime which would allow patients scrutinise the success rate of treatment by local GPs including their track record on cancer treatment.
The information available under the plans would not only contain potentially life-changing information about the lo




The Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) which had called for the British Medical Association to take a neutral stand on the issue of issue of ‘assisted dying’ were left disappointed after the BMA in its conference have voted against the plea for assisted dying which they likened to murder.
The Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) had called for the BMA to move its




A graduate who was made to work for her jobless benefits as a shelf stacker in Poundland claimed the scheme as ‘forced labour’ which breached her human rights and went to the High Court asking to declare the Government’s back-to-work programme as unlawful.
Cait Reilly, 23-year-old said she had to give up a voluntary post in a museum to take the placement but was promised a job interview if sh




A new study by Cambridge University on children committing crime has said that children commit crime because of lacking morals and not just because of their environment they live in.
The study was conducted on 700 young people in Petersborough for over a decade and discovered that most adolescent crime was not just a youthful opportunism.
Though the study said that urban environments did t




The European Court of Justice has ruled that the worker who became ill during their holidays can have more time off to make up for it.
It would mean that those who fall ill during their annual leave would be able to get additional days off for the days spent incapacitated.
The ruling has not gone well with the Employers groups who have warned that the ruling would add 'burdens' to business




After the victim, of Edward Putman the £4.5million Lottery winner, planned to launch compensation claim against her offender Vera Baird former Solicitor General called for all sexual offender to be forced to declare any significant changes in their financial position so that victims could claim compensation from them.
The woman, who was 17 at the time of the 1991 attack, had come to know about




Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the misuse of Drugs, has recommended that teenagers who possessed small amount of drugs or banned substances like cannabis would not be criminalized and rather should have their driving licenses confiscated or be sent to an awareness course which was already being done by the police who were imposing fines and warnings for cannabis possess




It said the scale of neglect of the NHS in mental illness was in scandalous proportions with only quarter of those requiring treatment actually getting it.
The report urged for appointment of special cabinet minister and says 'millions wasted' through lack of proper treatment
The report stated that almost half of all the ill-health suffered by people of working age has a psychological roo




The reason given by the Transport Minister Mike Penning was that the current fines were not creating an impression of seriousness to such offences.
He added that in future too careless driving could also be included under fixed penalty offence with an option of remedial training. Educational courses for other offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt, could also be offered.
The government b




The official figures show that half of the jobless people who were told to do unpaid work were ready to forfeit their benefits than forego their undeclared earnings.
The minister told the Mail that he sat through an interview with a young man in a job centre who was working for a few hours a week below the benefit threshold. He was working in a night club and had missed the previous weeks sign




The law which gives elderly the right to sue if they have faced age-discrimination by NHS staff is to become operational from October this year.
The ministers are to announce the plans which would give the elderly patients right to legal action if they are refused operations, tests and scans which are routinely offered to the younger patients.
Patients or their relatives will also be able




The scheme known as ‘two strikes and you are out’ would force the jobless benefit claimants to work without wages if they do not turn up for two interviews or drop out of work programme.
They shall have to work up to 30 hours a week or their benefits would be stripped out of them.
The Job Centre staff has been given the power to force anyone claiming unemployment benefits to work mandato




According to an official figure many young adults were not saving enough for their retirement the special report has suggested that the earlier they started saving it would be better for them.
By not saving for a pension when they were young they condemning themselves to poverty in their old age. The figures show that the number of women aged 22 to 29 in the UK who were signing up for workplac




A think tank has called for making statuses of all criminal cases accessible to victims of crime via information technology to build confidence in the criminal justice system
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) argues in its report that more information should be made available to the victims of crime in England and Wales.

The thinktank said it would be possible throu




MPs have warned that hitherto playground taunts, calling someone fatty would be deemed a hate crime.
A report by the all party parliamentary group on body image suggested that the government should consider ‘appearance based discrimination’ to be considered on par with race and sexual discrimination.
The Equalities Act 2010 makes it unlawful to harass, victimize or discriminate against any




Ministers have been forced to back down over the vast extension of the secret justice system which would be scrapped today.
There was a huge outcry by civil rights groups, MPs and lawyers, against the moves to hold sensitive inquests behind closed doors which the government has decided to drop all together. As far as civil cases are concerned the judges and not the politicians will be empowere




Ministers have decided that unemployed who are being paid benefits will have to earn it by doing unpaid community work under the governments cleanup drive.
As it is the job centre staff was already empowered to force the jobseekers who were suspected of shirking work, to spend 30 hours a week trimming hedges and painting schools for the £67.50 weekly allowance they receive.
All the able b




In an international case of child exploitation photographs of children were shared on a number of sites including Facebook. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said that six arrests were made in England.
Nine English children who were victims of the racket whose details have not been disclosed have been safeguarded and protected the police have said.
Interpol has sai




A report from the Work Foundation think tank has warned of a long term problem of youngsters Not in education, employment training - ‘Neets’, aged between 16 and 24, who have never made successful steps from education into employment.
It suggests with the first jobs now coming in the service sectors and not in the manufacturing sector means that too many students from the Neet category lack




The figures given by the local authority adoption scorecards based for 2009-2011 show a widespread delay throughout the adoption process the Department of Education had announced.
It said that hundreds of children who entered care had to wait on an average 20 months before moving in with their adoptive parents which was six months late than the time limit set out in the national guidance accor




Prison inmates who work outside the jail premises in the community before their release have launched a High Court battle to keep a bigger share of their wages claiming that much was being diverted to victim support.
Their lawyers today challenged the legality of the way Justice Secretary Ken Clarke was operating rules governing deductions from pay packets.
Under the Prisoners' Earnings A




A haulage firm boss Dean Castle and employee Carl Haynes were jailed for 20 and 17 years respectively for smuggling more than £5million worth of drugs into the UK in oil drums.
They were caught after customs officers in Dover found huge quantities of heroin, amphetamine and other drugs buried in sand in drums on the HGV.
Haynes, 42, was arrested after officers caught him transporting 26 ki




The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) a think tank has said that the UK unemployment was going to rise from its current 8.3% to almost 9% by the end of the year causing permanent damage to the UK’s productive capacity.
It said that the continuous weakness in the economy was unparalleled. The growth in 2012 would be close to zero growth in 2013 it said.
On Thursday,