NORTHERN IRELAND

[2019] NIQB 77
[2019] NIQB 77
QBD (NI) (Stephens LJ)
8 August 2019

When the court was considering whether to revoke bail for an alleged breach of bail conditions, it should evaluate all the material in the light of the serious potential consequences to the defendant in the context of the presumption of innocence and form an honest and rational opinion on the balance of probabilities.

[2019] NICA 38
[2019] NICA 38
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, Keegan J)
5 July 2019

The ECHR art.2 duty to undertake an effective investigation had not applied to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s overarching independent examination of possible collusion between state officials and Ulster Volunteer Force bombings and murders during the Troubles, given the lapse of time between the crimes and the entry into force of the ECHR. However, a victim’s brother had had a procedural legitimate expectation that the investigation would be carried out.

[2019] NICA 37
[2019] NICA 37
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, Maguire J)
27 June 2019

Panels of the Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland had the power to call a witness to give oral evidence where the failure to do so might cause a substantial injustice or a fundamental procedural unfairness. As recognised in K’s Application for Judicial Review, Re [2017] NIQB 34, the Parole Commissioners’ Rules (Northern Ireland) 2009 r.3 gave the panels a wide power to regulate their own procedure, and although they were not provided with an express power to call witnesses, they were not prohibited from doing so.

[2019] NICA 34
[2019] NICA 34
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ)
27 June 2019

The Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland had applied the correct test when considering whether a prisoner should be released on licence under the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 art.18 having served the relevant part of an extended sentence. They did not need to be satisfied that the significant risk of serious harm test prescribed in art.14(1)(b)(i) was satisfied before making the statutory assessment required by art.18(4)(b).

[2019] NICA 33
[2019] NICA 33
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Deeny LJ, Treacy LJ)
7 June 2019

It was not appropriate to give media organisations leave to appeal against reporting restriction orders imposed in relation to the trial of a mentally disordered offender.

[2019] UKSC 26
[2019] UKSC 26
SC (Lord Reed DPSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lady Black JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC)
6 June 2019

The court interpreted condition 4, set out in the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 s.1(6), which allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to issue a certificate directing that a trial should be conducted without a jury if he suspected that an offence had been committed as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility of one person or group of persons towards another person or group of persons. The condition could be relied upon in respect of a member of the armed forces who shot a person whom he suspected of being a member of the IRA.

[2019] NICA 26
[2019] NICA 26
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, McBride J)
31 May 2019

A custodial sentence of 9 years and 6 months and a further probation period of one year imposed on a 91-year-old former monk for historical offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery was unduly lenient, and was replaced with a custodial term of 12 years.

[2019] NIQB 67
[2019] NIQB 67
QBD (NI) (Treacy LJ)
24 May 2019

A school principal’s request to the police that a police constable working at his school should be removed from his duties because of an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable young woman was not a “complaint” for the purposes of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 which should have been referred to the Police Ombudsman. Accordingly, the police service’s failure to refer the matter to the Ombudsman did not vitiate the subsequent disciplinary proceedings which resulted in his dismissal. In obiter comments, the court set out considerations which should inform a police force’s determination of whether a communication that had been made to it constituted “a complaint about the police force” under the Act.

[2019] NICA 23
[2019] NICA 23
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ)
16 May 2019

A sentence of five months’ imprisonment which had been imposed on a father following his conviction for sexually assaulting his two-year-old son was unduly lenient. The offence merited a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment together with the imposition of a sexual offences prevention order.

[2019] NIQB 51
[2019] NIQB 51
QBD (NI) (McCloskey J, McAlinden J)
14 May 2019

When applying for search warrants against the director of a company allegedly providing unlicensed security industry services, the police should have been aware that the materials they were pursuing could contain journalistic material, as the director had written to them asserting that he undertook journalistic activities. However, the warrants would not be quashed, as that would disrupt the criminal proceedings arising from the investigation.

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