Tough new jail sentences for knife-wielding attackers and other serious criminals come into force today.
The "two strikes and out" rule will see offenders given life terms if they commit a second serious offence for crimes such as rape, armed robbery and inflicting grievous bodily harm.
It is part of a series of new sentences and criminal offences that have been introduced in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Criminals should be in no doubt they will be punished for their crimes, with those who commit the most serious offences receiving the most severe sentences.
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The legal battle began in 2011.
The debate during eight weeks of campaigning has been divisive and the result should be known on Saturday.