Training & Knowledge: Brian O'Neill KC

18th Oct 2023Blog


The recent publicity around The FA’s unpublished policy which permits some club owners to bet on football has highlighted some stark inconsistencies at the heart of professional sport’s relationship with betting. The FA’s rules prohibit participants from betting on football.  The FA Handbook 2023-34 defines “participants” as: …an Affiliated Association, Competition, Club, Club Official (which […]

10th Jun 2022Newsletters

STARTING POINTS In Cases of Murder – Sentencing Act 2020, Schedule 21

INTRODUCTION In most sentencing exercises in cases of murder selecting the correct statutory starting point ought to be relatively straightforward, before the sentencer settles upon the minimum term having regard to the various aggravating and mitigating factors which may apply.  However, as two recent cases in my experience demonstrate that is not always so in […]

16th May 2022Blog

The Online Safety Bill

The Online Safety Bill currently making its way through the UK Parliament establishes a new regulatory regime to address illegal and harmful content online.  It imposes legal requirements on: Providers of internet services which allow users to encounter content generated, uploaded or shared by other users (“user-to-user services”); Providers of search engines which enable users […]

8th Sep 2021Articles

New Sentencing Guidelines for unauthorised use of a trade mark by individuals and organisations

Introduction The unauthorised use of a trade mark is an “unfamiliar offence“[1] which rarely comes before the courts. In 2019, around 370 adults and 40 organisations were sentenced. Until now, sentencers in the Magistrates’ Court had available to them a brief guideline for sentencing individuals.[2] However, there were no guidelines for sentencing organisations and none […]

20th Apr 2021Blog

SANCTIONS FOR RACIST ABUSE – Brian O’Neill QC and Paul Renteurs consider whether there is a role for the criminal law in stamping out racial abuse on the field of play.

INTRODUCTION UEFA’s decision to ban the Slavia Prague footballer Ondrej Kudela for ten matches having been found to have racially abused Rangers’ footballer Glen Kamara in the teams’ recent Europa Cup match has been widely criticised by leading figures in Scottish football and anti-racist campaigners. Two of the highest profile examples of such behaviour in […]