The Lord Chief Justice published a Judicial Diversity Statement, announcing that the Judges’ Council has endorsed the creation of a Judicial Diversity Committee, which will be responsible for bringing all the different aspects of diversity work together into a single strategy. The strategy will be aimed at supporting serving judges who wish to progress to the more senior levels of the judiciary; at encouraging suitable applicants from all backgrounds to consider applying for judicial office from the legal professions; and at law students and others who may be considering a career in legal practice and have the potential to become the judges of the future.

Forensic scientists discovered subtle genetic differences in the DNA of identical twins, meaning there is now a definitive test to find out which of a pair of twins was involved in a crime. Previous cases involving DNA evidence have seen both twins charged with a crime as their genetic codes were too similar to tell apart.

There may be a rise in historic damages claims against football clubs following a case that was brought against Stoke City Football Club and former goalkeeper George Fox. A Stoke City apprentice alleged physical and sexual abuse during an initiation ceremony upon joining the apprentice scheme at 16 years old. Now 43, George Blackstock claims he was held down screaming while a greased goalkeeper’s glove was forced into him. His barrister described the treatment as taking football’s ‘macho culture…far too far’. Former England Captain, Mick Mills, who was the club’s manager at the time, has been accused of repeatedly turning a blind eye to such offences. Other players, including David Beckham, have made allusions to being subjected to similar initiation ceremonies at clubs. It is feared that this case will fuel a barrage of new witnesses coming forward. Stoke City are seeking to have the case thrown out of court, asking the judge to avoid opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ and not to apply 21st century values to footballers from the 1980s. However, as the claimant’s barrister has said; ‘1986 was not the primitive ages’. Others have alleged the claim is merely being brought for the financial rewards to supplement Mr Blackstock’s current salary.

Mike Tyson was refused entry to the UK under the Immigration Rules which came into force in Dec 2012 (para 320 (2)). His book promotion tour of the UK had to be cancelled when he was refused a visa due to his conviction for rape in 1992. The changes to the rules provide that an application must be refused where the applicant has been convicted of an offence with a sentence of 4 years or more, or if the sentence was for between 12 months and 4 years, there can be no entry until 10 years have passed. If the sentence was for less than 12 months, 5 years must have passed before entry may be granted. This would have prevented the likes of Nelson Mandela from entering the UK, as well as Ja Rule, Wesley Snipes, James Brown, and Paul McCartney (if he wasn’t British). Home Office Guidance, at page 22, allows some exceptions for refugees and those that would come under the Human Rights Convention. The Guidance also allows officials to make exceptions where there are exceptional circumstances or the offence is not recognised in the UK, such as political or homosexual ‘crimes’ and those prepared to make a large financial investment in the UK.