NORTHERN IRELAND

[2020] UKSC 29
[2020] UKSC 29
SC (NI) (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Briggs JSC, Lady Arden JSC)
1 July 2020

The Supreme Court explained the purpose and operation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.160A, which concerned a defendant’s interests in property where a confiscation order was being made. There were potentially two stages to confiscation proceedings, namely the making of the order and its enforcement, and s.160A was intended to combine them into one for simple cases. However, in more complex cases, particularly where property was jointly owned, the two-stage process could still occur and third party property interests could arise for consideration at the enforcement stage.

[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] NICA 19
[2020] NICA 19
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.

[2020] NICh 3
[2020] NICh 3
Ch D (NI) (Simpson J)
21 February 2020

The court granted a possession order in relation to a property which had been paid for using money derived from unlawful conduct. The order did not breach the defendants’ rights under ECHR art.8, art.14 or Protocol 1 art.1. However, it was appropriate to stay the enforcement of the order for a period of six months so that the defendants’ children could remain in the property whilst taking important exams.

[2020] UKSC 6
[2020] UKSC 6
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.

[2020] NICA 1
[2020] NICA 1
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, McCloskey LJ)
8 January 2020

The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland gave guidance on the correct approach to sentencing for fraud and theft where an offender was in a position of trust.

[2019] NICA 75
[2019] NICA 75
CA (NI) (McCloskey LJ, O'Hara J, Huddleston J)
20 December 2019

The court considered the violent offences prevention order regime under the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 Pt 8, including the distinction between an order imposed at sentence and a free-standing order, and provided general guidance as to the relevant legal test for imposition of such an order and procedural fairness.

[2019] NICA 66
[2019] NICA 66
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
25 November 2019

The Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland) considered the appropriate reduction to a sentence when an offender pleaded guilty at arraignment but did not indicate his intention to plead guilty at the outset. In particular, it considered whether the attitude of the offender at interview should be taken into account, and whether the present guidance was consistent with the terms of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 art.33(1). It also considered whether there was an impact on the level of discount if the offender was caught red-handed or if there was no viable defence.

[2019] NICA 64
[2019] NICA 64
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
22 November 2019

Although a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment for possession of prohibited weapons and possession of guns and ammunition was unduly lenient, it did not follow that the sentence had to be quashed. A judge erred in reducing the sentence to take into account the guilty plea and then reduce again to take into account the mitigation. However, it was unfair to increase the sentence which would require the offender to return to prison especially as in the instant case the Prosecution sought to advance a new case.

[2019] NIQB 89
[2019] NIQB 89
QBD (NI) (Keegan J)
14 October 2019

The court considered whether the policy of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to review and retain a disruption notice breached the ECHR art.8. On analysis of the policy documentation, the retention period for the notice was 100 years or until the applicant turned 100, with no possibility of review and that breached the applicant’s Convention rights.

Scroll to top