Happy Christmas from Chartlands

From all the staff here at Chartlands Chambers, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and an even better New Year over this festive period!

We’ve had another great year here at Chartlands Chambers and we’d like to give a massive thank you to all of our clients and friends, both past and present.

Happy Christmas from Chartlands Chambers
Happy Christmas from Chartlands Chambers

We wish you the best over this special time of year and we hope you get to relax with your loved ones.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss anything involved with our services.

Here’s to 2015!


The Chartlands Chambers Team

The Court of Appeal has ruled on family migration into the UK

The Court of Appeal has ruled on family migration into the UK, what do you think of the ruling?

The Court of Appeal has handed down a decision regarding the rules on family migration in the UK. It was suggested that British Citizens or partners settled lawfully within the UK would be required to show that they have an income of at least £18,600 P.A. before foreign partners from outside the European area can be allowed into the UK. Additional sums must also be required for each child they can bring into the UK.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the requirements as lawful. The court reached their decision on the basis that it wasn’t for the court to analyse the basis of Secretary of State’s decision to implement such requirements into the rules of immigration, which essentially are statements of administrative policy. This, in essence, is a restrained form of review and somewhat suggests a lack of willingness somewhat, definitely when interfering with the decisions of the government. The Supreme Court has also granted permission to those who wish to appeal, especially on arguments that include a mere rational belief is wrong. It’s also likely that the present case in its form will proceed to the Supreme Court.

The decision has come over four months after all of the appeal were heard throughout March 2014, coming two years after the original rules were introduced. Since this time the Secretary of State has imposed a stay on new applications which would otherwise have experienced refusal simply from failing to satisfy the new rules introduced. This will no doubt be lifted and it will give people an opportunity to finally mount an appeal against any negative decisions made. In the meantime, a considerable number of families will be kept apart, regardless of the affect they would or wouldn’t have on the state.

The rules have forced a massive number of British citizens to go and live in Europe for a considerable amount of time, exercising their right as a citizen of the EU, until they can lawfully come back months later with their spouses under the law of the European Union. In other cases, the new rules have forced people out of the United Kingdom and Europe altogether, even though they’re in Britain lawfully, having settled in the UK for many years. The impact that is has on young people is yet to be seen, but part-time workers and women, specifically those who come from a racial minority background and in low-paid jobs may actually be severe. All factors of the ruling will be under assessed and review numerous times in order to make sure that they’re not incredibly harsh.

For more on court appeals and Family Law Northampton, please visit our website.

Barristers call off walkout over legal aid cuts

Barristers call off walkout after legal aid cuts suspended

Criminal barristers are said to have called off their industrial strike regarding the legal aid payments proposed by the Government. A deal has been reached with the Ministry of Justice, one that agrees for the suspension of pay cuts until the next general election is complete.

The Ministry of Justice reported that it had agreed to defer a number of proposed savings until next summer when they will go under review. The MoJ also said that they are still intending to save £215m from the annual legal aid budget by 2018-19, but for now there won’t be any cuts until after the general election.

Regardless of the deal met between barristers and the MoJ, a planned two day walkout from solicitors and probation officers was still scheduled to take place as they found no difference with the MoJ. The two day walkout took place from the 31st March to 1st April.

Barristers have struck a deal with the Ministry of Justice
Barristers have struck a deal with the Ministry of Justice

Meetings were held between Grayling, the Bar Council, who represents barristers in England and Wales respectively, along with the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) and the Law Society, whom represent solicitors in England and Wales also.

The scheduled review in 2015 is set to take into account reports from Sir Bill Jeffrey on advocacy, Sir Brian Leveson on streamlining the practices in court and a retired judge, Geoffrey Rivilin.

Barristers had previously started to boycott VHCCs as part of the industrial action. The Ministry of Justice and the criminal bar have now both agreed to continue negotiating over such complex fraud cases.

Criminal barristers joined alongside solicitors in two mass walkouts previously, one taking place in January and another earlier last month, something that disrupted cases in magistrates and crown courts across England and Wales.

What is litigation and how is it used in court?

What exactly does litigation mean?

Litigation, in its simplest form, is the process of bringing in a court to enforce a particular right. It’s the act of bringing in a lawsuit to resolve any disputes that may arrive before a court.

When a member of the public begins a civil lawsuit, this person is entered into the process called litigation. Due to the rules of Civil Procedure, something which governs actions that are used in State and Federal courts, litigation is a process of steps (this can lead to a court trial and eventually a resolution of the matter at hand).

Before reaching a point of a lawsuit, the plaintiff (which is the person who starts the lawsuit) will demand a set of actions from the person they believe to have caused alleged injury or damage (the defendant). Given the demand is refused or ignored by the defendant; the plaintiff can proceed with the lawsuit by delivering a summons and complaint on the defendant, whilst filing this complaint with a civil trial court. The body of the complaint must summaries the state of the alleged injuries, linking them to the defendant, whilst ultimately requesting relief through money or other services.

Litigation will affect us all at some point
Litigation will affect us all at some point

Given that the complaint does not resolve any of the issues raised in the settlement, the plaintiff will then begin a process called discovery. This is where the plaintiff will send interrogatories (written questions) to the defendant that seeks information regarding the dispute. The plaintiff has the right to request a copy of the completed documents for later review. Once litigation begins, the defendant is also given the right to learn more regarding the plaintiff’s case. They are permitted to begin a discovery process of their own and this is something that may be conducted in a matter of weeks, sometimes years, depending on how complex the case is and what level of cooperation exists between the parties involved.

After the discovery process is completed by the parties, most courts will require both the plaintiff and the defendant to attend a conference in which they hope to reach a settlement before pushing the case onto a trial. Depending on the outcome, an agreement will be reached or given that the parties can’t reach a settlement, the litigation will then continue onto a trial. Close to the day of the trial, any side of the involved parties may often make a settlement offer in order to avoid court proceedings, something which can be costly, dragging out the process for a number of months. Given a settlement is reached, litigation is ended.

Given that the parties are still unable to settle their differences, a trial will be held. At the resulting trial both sides are given permission to bring forward evidence that they feel relevant, allowing them to try and prove to the courtroom/jury the truth behind any complaints made. If the plaintiff brings forward a convincing case, the defendant can look to end the case immediately. Alternatively, if the case of the plaintiff is weak, the defendant may ask the courtroom to dismiss the specific case. Given neither is put forward, the trial will proceed to a conclusion and either the judge or the jury will must decide which party prevails over the other.

Given that the defendant loses the lawsuit, the party can now ask the courtroom to throw out the verdict if they feel that the evidence did not warrant the decision, or the defendant can alternatively ask that any damages awarded to the plaintiff be lowered. The court has the right to grant or refuse these kinds of requests made by the defendant.

Once a final decision is made, litigation will end. The winning party is given the right to collect any outstanding damages from the losing party. After the losing party gives the agreed relief, the party is then entitled to receive a satisfaction of judgement from the prevailing party. This is filed with the trial court and attest to the happiness of the winning party, signifying the end of the case.

For more information and advice about civil litigation Northampton, please visit our website.