QBD (Admin) (Spencer J)
4 May 2020
The court declined to grant bail to a Polish national where there were substantial grounds for believing that he would fail to submit to custody and would commit further offences if bail was granted.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Carr J, Goss J)
2 April 2020
A conviction for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, involving two co-conspirators only, was quashed as the trial judge had erred in admitting under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.74(1) evidence of the guilty plea of one co-conspirator in the trial of the other. In a “closed” conspiracy involving only two alleged conspirators, such evidence effectively decided the central issue of whether the defendants had entered into the conspiracy and should have been excluded under s.78 of the Act.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Fraser J, Hilliard J)
1 April 2020
A conviction for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs was quashed as, while it might have been open to the jury to conclude that the appellant was party to an agreement which involved the onward supply of drugs by him, there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was party to the larger conspiracy alleged. The trial judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer. The court emphasised the importance of legal advisers complying with the time limits for submitting applications for permission to appeal.
CA (Civ Div) (McCombe LJ, Peter Jackson LJ)
27 March 2020
A ticket tout’s appeal against a sentence of 21 weeks’ imprisonment for contempt of court was dismissed where sufficient credit had been applied for his guilty plea made at the door of the court, and the six-month starting point taken had been entirely appropriate given that the breach had been committed during the currency of a suspended sentence imposed for a similar breach of a High Court order.
CA (Civ Div) (McCombe LJ, King LJ, Holroyde LJ)
25 March 2020
A judge had not erred when relying on the guidance in C (A Minor) (Care Proceedings: Disclosure), Re  Fam. 76 in ordering disclosure to the police of documents filed in care proceedings related to severe brain injuries suffered by a nine-week-old child.
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
23 March 2020
The Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland considered the current practice regarding the grant of legal aid in relation to applications before the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
SC (Lady Hale PSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Carnwath JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC)
19 February 2020
The Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to entertain appeals against a decision of the Divisional Court of Northern Ireland concerning the lawfulness of a life prisoner’s release on licence. The proceedings did not constitute a “criminal cause or matter” for the purposes of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 s.41(1); the proper avenue of appeal was to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
DC (Dingemans LJ, Farbey J)
19 February 2020
It was in the public interest to bring committal proceedings against a former legal clerk who had made audio recordings of five sets of criminal proceedings in the Crown Court to assist with his note-taking, in contempt of court. The contempts were admitted, and taking into account all the relevant factors including his ill health, he was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
DC (Leggatt LJ, May J)
5 February 2020
A 61-year-old man who had posted on his Facebook page photographs purporting to be of the convicted murderers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, in breach of a worldwide injunction prohibiting the publication of their identity, was given a sentence of four months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
CA (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, Simler LJ)
31 October 2019
The High Court’s decision refusing permission to apply for judicial review in proceedings relating to a murder conviction was “a judgment…in a criminal cause or matter” within the meaning of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1)(a), restricting the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to consider the appeal. There was no basis for concluding that the denial of a right of appeal in those circumstances amounted to an unjustified denial of the appellant’s right of access to justice.