Photo above submitted by Simon, “Panorama from Transilvania of late afternoon ride up to 1600 meters.”Pedego Electric Bikes’ Huntington Beach, CA, location are hosting a Boocycle Ride and Party on October 27th from 1-4pm.Mercury Cycles have announced sponsorship of the NC Cyclocross series for the 2012-2013 season and is offering a 15% discount to all CX racers and fans through their NC dealer Spencer Leuders. Mention “NCCX” for the discount, email here for more info.Oregon State University-Cascades has announced their inaugural Club Sports Intramural Program in conjunction with the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation that will include Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Cyclocross and Mountain BikingThe Levi Effect: The Story of Levi Leipheimer will have a special one night showing in select theaters across the US on October 23rd. Highlights include a recorded introduction from Levi himself and a followup panel discussion with some of his friends on the state of cycling today. Check link for a theater near you.Have cycling news or events you want to share in the Friday Roundup? Send it here.
Criminal practitioners were angry after being informed over the weekend that they must attend magistrates’ courts in person rather than remotely from today.The Judicial Office issued a statement on Saturday in response to concerns about remote working. It stated that coronavirus legislation permits the court to make a direction allowing a person to take part in a hearing remotely if the court is satisfied that it is in the ‘interests of justice’ in the particular case.Referring to guidance issued on 14 April encouraging participation by video or audio links, the statement says: ‘It is understood that over the subsequent weeks some latitude was given to appearing remotely by default.’‘However, we are now not at the same crisis levels and therefore the law and Criminal Procedure Rules should be followed with the expectation that advocates will attend in person unless they have made an application to the court to attend remotely… If an advocate has a magistrates’ court hearing on Monday 22 June and has not applied formally to appear remotely they must either attend court or contact the court applying for leave to attend remotely.’The statement prompted widespread outrage and concern. Kerry Hudson, a director at London firm Bullivant Law, said: ‘I’m now spending my Saturday writing to the courts in all my trial cases to confirm I’m not trial ready in any of them.’Representative bodies including the Law Society and practitioner groups held an emergency meeting yesterday with the deputy senior presiding judge and chief magistrate.The Judicial Office clarified its original statement, and said it was not intended that the prosecution and defence will now, without warning, be required to come to court when they had been expecting to appear remotely.In a note to all district judges, the chief magistrate said: ‘You may or may not be aware that there is a bit of a Twitter storm about the court applying the “interests of justice” test when deciding whether parties can appear remotely. In some areas, the test has been applied throughout. In other areas, including in Westminster, the test has not been applied at all. By law, the judiciary should be applying the test in every case…‘There is a great shortage of legal aid solicitors and if [allowing remote working] assists them to stay in business, it is in the interests of justice for that to happen. I am being told that defence firm financials are very fragile at the moment as result of zero Crown court income as well as a reduction in volumes in our courts. Many defence firms have furloughed solicitors and support staff. It will take time for them to manage their resources for attendance to become the norm again. This is aside from the understandable anxieties that there are in returning back to work generally and, specifically, back into courtrooms. I am sure we will remain sensitive to their challenges.’The chief magistrate said it would be wrong to question anyone who said they were vulnerable or shielding.Law Society president Simon Davis said: ‘Solicitors can continue to appear remotely where it is in the interests of justice to do so… We have continued to raise the challenges and difficulties faced by criminal legal aid firms with the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary – challenges which have been accentuated by the coronavirus crisis and include firms not having the capacity to cover multiple hearings due to staff being furloughed. If a solicitor is shielding or caring at home for someone who is vulnerable they can continue to attend remotely.’Meanwhile, jury trials will resume at five more Crown courts this week: Chelmsford, Croydon, Guildford, Hull and Mold. Please see the Gazette’s dedicated coronavirus page here >> *The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England. Find advice and updates here.
Mabuza condemns increase in gender-based violence in South Africa Related South Africa’s President Ramaphosa calls for end in gender based violence FILE PHOTO: Women hold placards as they protest against gender-based violence, outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Marius Bosch FILE PHOTO: Women hold placards as they protest against gender-based violence, outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Marius BoschAmid a surge in gender-based violence, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday tried to mobilize the whole society to curb the scourge.“The struggle to end gender-based violence and femicide succeeds only if society as a whole is mobilized and organized behind a common program of action,” Ramaphosa said in a virtual Q&A session in Parliament.Despite national efforts to curb gender-based violence in light with the National Strategic Plan which took effect in May this year, the country has to confront the reality that the violence perpetrated by men against women and children has become a national emergency that required urgent and decisive action, the president said.South Africa has seen a sharp rise in murder cases of women and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the COVID-19 lockdown in late March this year, dozens of women have been murdered, most of them died at the hands of their intimate partners.This has prompted the government to implement the Emergency Response Action Plan, which was presented to a joint sitting of Parliament in September last year.While lamenting the surge in gender-based violence, the president hailed the progress in curbing the scourge.Through the reprioritization of resources, the government has been able to allocate around 1.6 billion rand (about 95 million U.S. dollars) to implement the plan in the remaining months of the financial year, according to Ramaphosa.“Working with our partners in civil society, we have managed to improve access to justice for victims and survivors and have improved our capacity to investigate and prosecute gender-based violence perpetrators,” said Ramaphosa.These include the upgrading of 11 sexual offences courts and implementation of a system to track the processing of related cases, he said.The supply of sexual assault evidence kits, which are now available in all police stations, has been improved, Ramaphosa said.Three amendment bills intended to strengthen the response of the criminal justice system have been approved by the cabinet and are in the process of being introduced into Parliament, according to the president.These bills aim to tighten bail conditions for perpetrators of sexual offences, strengthen parole conditions and increase minimum sentences, and ensure more severe consequences for contravening a protection order.At the same time, a major focus of work has been on changing norms and behaviour through high-level prevention efforts, such as a mass media campaign and engagements with men’s groups, offenders in prison and youth at risk, he said. Botswana president vows to fight gender-based violence