CRIMINAL LAW

[2020] UKSC 19
[2020] UKSC 19
SC (Lord Kerr JSC, Lady Black JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Kitchin JSC, Lord Burnett JSC)
13 May 2020

The seriousness of the consequences of a decision was a consideration to be taken into account in deciding whether a power had to be exercised by a minister personally. It was doubtful whether there was a presumption that the Carltona principle, allowing ministerial powers to be delegated, should apply to a power absent contrary statutory language. Even if there was a presumption, it was displaced in relation to the secretary of state’s power to make an interim custody order under the Detention of Terrorists (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 art.4(1): the statutory language was unambiguous, and the consequences of the decision were that an individual could be kept in custody, possibly indefinitely.

[2020] EWCA Crim 597
[2020] EWCA Crim 597
CA (Crim Div) (Lindblom LJ, Hilliard J, Judge Flewitt QC)
6 May 2020

On a true construction of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 reg.5, the consequence of any breach of the exemption requirements under Sch.2 para.3(1) was that a waste treatment company’s operation was no longer an “exempt waste operation” and had ceased, on the breach, to be an “exempt facility”. At that point it could only be a “regulated facility”, for which no permit had been granted.

[2020] EWCA Crim 589
[2020] EWCA Crim 589
CA (Crim Div) (Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Sweeney J, May J)
1 May 2020

An appeal brought, following a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, on behalf of a deceased husband against his 2005 conviction for the “Lady in the lake” murder of his wife in 1976 was dismissed. Notwithstanding the non-disclosure of relevant prosecution evidence, the strength of the circumstantial case against the husband had been very strong.

[2020] EWHC 799 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 799 (Admin)
DC (Hickinbottom LJ, Swift J)
6 April 2020

It was a criminal offence for a shop to offer food for sale after its labelled use by date. The words “deemed to be unsafe” in Regulation 1169/2011 art.24 created an irrebuttable presumption that food placed on the market with an expired use by date was “unsafe” for the purposes of Regulation 179/2002 art.14.

[2020] EWHC 962 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 962 (Admin)
DC (Hickinbottom LJ, Andrews J)
19 March 2020

On the proper construction of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 s.43, there was no power to issue a community protection notice in the name of a parent concerning the anti-social behaviour conduct of their child.

[2020] EWHC 635 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 635 (Admin)
DC (Fulford LJ, Elisabeth Laing J)
18 March 2020

The power to request information under the Environment Act 1995 s.108(4)(j) could not be exercised independently from the power to enter premises.

[2020] UKSC 8
[2020] UKSC 8
SC (Lord Reed PSC, Lord Carnwath JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC, Lord Hamblen JSC)
11 March 2020

Personal experimentation or self-education could be regarded as a “lawful object” providing the basis for a defence to a charge of possessing explosives contrary to the Explosive Substances Act 1883 s.4(1).

[2020] EWCA Civ 355
[2020] EWCA Civ 355
CA (Civ Div) (McCombe LJ, Nicola Davies LJ, Simler LJ)
10 March 2020

The correct construction of the words “the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week” in the Abortion Act 1967 s.1(1)(a) was that a woman would have exceeded her 24th week of pregnancy once she was 24 weeks + 0 days pregnant, which would commence from midnight on the expiration of 23 weeks + 6 days.

[2020] EWCA Crim 270
[2020] EWCA Crim 270
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Spencer J, Griffiths J)
27 February 2020

The court refused to admit fresh psychiatric evidence in support of a possible defence of diminished responsibility to a charge of murder where the defence had not been pursued at trial, despite having been considered and raised in the defence statement. It would not be in the interests of justice to allow the evidence to be adduced.

[2020] EWCA Crim 327
[2020] EWCA Crim 327
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, May J, Judge Stockdale QC)
21 February 2020

In an appeal against a rape conviction, the trial judge’s omission to direct the jury in the form recommended in R. v Sheehan (Michael) [1975] 1 W.L.R. 739 on the relevance of intoxication to intention did not render the conviction unsafe. The Sheehan direction was not a direction on a matter of law, but on how the jury should approach its fact-finding task. The jury had been directed in the clearest terms to assess the evidence and decide what factual inferences to draw.

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