CA (Civ Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Holroyde LJ, Nicola Davies LJ)
23 January 2020
A prison governor’s decision that a category A prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence should attend the hearing of a civil claim by video link, rather than in person, did not breach his right to a fair trial under ECHR art.6. Nor had the decision-maker unlawfully fettered her discretion in refusing the prisoner’s request to be produced physically at the hearing of his claim. However, the decision had been made on the basis of a fundamental misunderstanding of an important fact, and would have to be retaken in the light of up-to-date information.
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.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Garnham J, Chamberlain J)
17 December 2019
In light of a decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Appeal analysed the safety of the conviction of an offender who had assisted one of those responsible for the bombings which took place on the London transport system in 2005. Even though the Grand Chamber found that the proceedings before the domestic courts had violated the offender’s right to a fair trial under the ECHR art.6, that conclusion did not mean that the offender’s conviction was unsafe.
DC (Hamblen LJ, Lane J)
6 November 2019
An appeal on points of law to Italy’s Court of Cassation in criminal proceedings was not an “ordinary appeal” for the purposes of Decision 2002/584 art.4a and the Extradition Act 2003 s.20; it was not the “trial resulting in the decision” which a requested person had a right to attend.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Julian Knowles J, Sir John Royce)
13 September 2019
Evidence of a blood sample taken after a road traffic accident remained admissible even though it was unlawfully obtained. The defendant had lied about his drug use at the time the sample was taken, and it was likely that the healthcare professional who took the sample would have altered her opinion as to whether his condition might have been due to drugs had she known the truth. The manner in which evidence was obtained was relevant to the exercise required by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.78, but did not automatically lead to its exclusion if its admission would not render the trial unfair.
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Farbey J, Judge Molyneux)
31 July 2019
The court quashed a conviction for doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice in relation to the provision of false information as to the identity of the driver of a speeding car. The judge’s ruling that the defendant had given a false impression to the jury was wrong in law and the defendant had not had a fair trial because of the inappropriate nature and frequency of the judge’s interventions; he had transgressed the fundamental principles of a fair trial and the hearing had become inquisitional.
QBD (Admin) (Sir Duncan Ouseley)
30 July 2019
A district judge had been right to find that it was not inevitable that a deaf man with limited communication skills would be found unfit to plead by a Spanish court, and therefore that fitness to plead was a matter for the Spanish court to determine after extradition. Spain could be trusted to protect the individual’s right to a fair trial if sufficient accommodations could not be made.
PC (Jer) (Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin)
17 June 2019
Regarding an investigation into suspected tax avoidance and evasion, the notices served under the Tax Information Exchange Agreement that Jersey had with Norway requesting that Jersey obtain information concerning a number of Jersey-registered companies did not engage the privilege against self-incrimination under the Investigation of Fraud (Jersey) Law 1991 nor the privilege under Jersey customary law. The same conclusion was reached in terms of a notice served on one of the companies under the Investigation of Fraud (Jersey) Law 1991.