CRIMINAL LAW

[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.

DC (Leggatt LJ, May J)
4 February 2020

The court rejected a prosecution appeal against the acquittal of an individual charged with speeding. It was not possible to conclude that the justices had reached a perverse or irrational decision; they had evidently regarded evidence from the individual’s GPS tracking device as providing a reasonable doubt that he had been travelling at above 50 mph, notwithstanding the fact that it was not an approved device for measuring speed, and that was all that was required.

[2020] EWCA Crim 95
[2020] EWCA Crim 95
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Foster J)
28 January 2020

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.67(3), which protected against voyeurism in the form of the recording of another person doing a private act, was not limited to protecting the privacy of a complainant from secret filming by someone who was not present during the private act in question. A participant to certain activity could be guilty of a s.67(3) offence if they secretly recorded what was otherwise a lawful event in which they had participated.

IPT (Singh LJ, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, Sir Richard McLaughlin, Charles Flint QC, Graham Zellick QC)
20 December 2019

On a proper interpretation of the Security Service Act 1989, the UK Security Service’s policy on agent participation in criminality, and the practices underlying it, were lawful and did not contravene the ECHR.

QBD (Admin) (Supperstone J)
17 December 2019

A Polish national who had allegedly stabbed a victim in Slovenia could not be extradited to Poland as the requirement of the Extradition Act 2003 s.64(4)(b) was not satisfied, namely that the conduct had to constitute an extra-territorial offence under UK law. The relevant extra-territorial offence under UK law would be attempted murder, but it could not be necessarily implied from his conduct that the individual had intended to kill the victim.

[2019] UKPC 43
[2019] UKPC 43
PC (Trin) (Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin)
28 November 2019

The offences, set out in the Customs Act (Trinidad and Tobago) Ch.78.01, of making a false declaration in a customs declaration, importing prohibited goods and importing goods which did not correspond with a customs declaration were offences of strict liability.

[2019] EWHC 3177 (Fam)
[2019] EWHC 3177 (Fam)
Fam Div (Cobb J)
21 November 2019

The court upheld a finding of fact made during a fact-finding hearing in the context of a father’s application for a child arrangements order. The judge had carefully evaluated the evidence when she found that the father had raped the child’s mother, resulting in the conception of the child.

Scroll to top