Ranked lawyer and miscarriages of justice criminal appeals solicitor
You don’t have to be a leading criminal solicitor to know that miscarriages of justice do occur; if you or a loved-one are unfortunate enough to be at the sharp end of a wrongful conviction or an excessive sentence and, if you are able to pay for his services privately, Jim Meyer can help.
Judges and juries can and do get it wrong. Of course, you want to instruct a defence team who are going to work tirelessly to ensure that they don’t, and that they make the right decision, based on all of the evidence available. But what happens when this doesn’t happen? What happens if your previous defence team advise you that you there are no grounds for appeal?
You need to get a second opinion! Ask Jim to review the case and consider what went wrong and why. You will have your own ideas but seek the help of a professional and call on their experience to help you navigate what can be a daunting and demoralising quest for justice.
Appealing a wrongful conviction and / or sentence is not easy – instruct a lawyer in whom you have confidence
Jim will assess the evidence and how it unfolded during the trial process. He will critically evaluate the strategy of the previous defence team and why they took the decisions that they did. Jim helps his clients access (and achieve) justice by following a systematic and detailed investigation of what has gone on:
Assess: in simple terms Jim will identify the information available concerning the police case, the prosecution evidence, the police investigation and the defence case and establish what further information needs to be obtained, from where, in what time frame, and how. He will develop a plan of action and a detailed “wants” list, i.e. specific questions that need answering.
Communicate: to achieve justice a lawyer needs to communicate effectively. Jim manages his conversations with key individuals so that his requests, questions and responses are guided by a clear plan of action and strategy that he agrees with his clients.
Collect and collate: the majority of case information is distributed, making it difficult to access and to represent detail contained within any number of statements, reports, notes, completed forms, tape recordings, exhibits, transcripts, etc. Jim’s approach allows him to gain a detailed grasp of this disparate information.
Evaluate: all analysis involves going “beyond the facts” and once Jim has collected all the information he evaluates it. This sounds (and is) obvious, but too often practitioners do not “puIl” the material together, or devote sufficient time to extract data that is distributed across the available aggregation of oral or written testimony. Because of this, many fail to detect multiple versions, gaps, mismatches, contradiction and other anomalies. Jim’s analysis enables him to:
Examine, highlight, identify and understand features, characteristics and attributes of the detail before him, its source, or indeed the entire case, e.g. match/mismatch, the presence and degree of gap, ambiguity, vagueness, contradiction, contrast and variation – in breadth and amount of detail, at one point in time and across a time span;
Test the status of specific detail, its source, or the case, e.g. in terms of validity, coherence, plausibility, credibility;
Plan further investigation, e.g. to resolve gaps and anomalies in the case, in the evidence or in particular accounts and descriptions.
Survey: Jim conducts a comprehensive appraisal of his findings and draws conclusions – particularly in terms of the need to revise any given perspective on a particular matter – and identifies alternative lines of enquiry or courses of action. He develops case theories and themes, always alert to the possibility for, and supporting evidence of:
An innocent client pleading guilty because of the perverse incentives built into the system;
Confirmation bias on the part of investigators;
The withholding or destruction of evidence by the prosecution;
The fabrication of evidence;
Perjury by police or prosecution witnesses;
Biased editing of evidence;
Prejudice and / or bias;
An incorrect evaluation of the evidential weight of expert opinion;
Faulty forensic tests;
False confessions because of police pressure or psychological conditions;
Misdirection of a jury by a judge during trial;
Summarise: Jim’s approach enables him to provide clients with a straightforward summary of the situation that spells out the key issues so that they can properly assess the situation that confronts them. He helps them make the right decision to achieve justice in their case.
Appealing adverse decisions is a marathon, not a sprint. Instructing Jim in the substantive proceedings is a way to avoid finding yourself in this position but, if you do, hiring him to appeal and achieve justice is the next best thing.
Findings of dishonesty were upheld against a businessman who had entered into agreements with a state investment authority in breach of an express warranty of good faith. The fact that the claims against him were based on evidence obtained by the unlawful hacking of the businessman's emails did not justify striking out those claims where that would have left the investment authority unable to prove its claims and the businessman with the benefit of his seriously fraudulent conduct.
An employment tribunal had been entitled to refuse an application to stay appeals brought against two prohibition notices issued under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 s.22 on the basis that criminal proceedings were pending. The applicant had not shown that there would be a real risk of substantial prejudice which might lead to injustice if the stay was refused.
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, William Davis J, McGowan J)
4 December 2020
A woman convicted of murdering her paraplegic husband in 2000 by injecting him with insulin without his knowledge had failed to show that her conviction was unsafe. Most of the "fresh evidence" she sought to rely on simply repackaged the evidence put before the jury at her trial. It did not dilute the medical case against her, or transform its perspective.
A Practice Direction was issued amending Practice Direction (CA (Crim Div): Criminal Proceedings: General Matters)  EWCA Crim 1567. New sections were inserted or amendments were made to paragraphs concerning: failure to comply with the requirement to give name, date of birth and nationality; hearings to inform the court of sensitive material; first court attendance after charge and detention; penalties for failure to surrender; and listing of hearings other than trials. The amendments came into force on 13 May 2020.
A conviction for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs was quashed as, while it might have been open to the jury to conclude that the appellant was party to an agreement which involved the onward supply of drugs by him, there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was party to the larger conspiracy alleged. The trial judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer. The court emphasised the importance of legal advisers complying with the time limits for submitting applications for permission to appeal.
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.
The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal against a refusal of permission to apply for judicial review; by reason of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1) it had no jurisdiction to entertain the proposed appeal because the decision under challenge was in a criminal cause or matter. The court made general observations with regard to appeals from judgments in criminal causes or matters.
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, McGowan J, Judge Dhir)
26 February 2019
The terms of a sexual offences prevention order imposed on an offender who had been sentenced for voyeurism, which included an almost blanket ban on using the internet, were changed where its terms did not conform to the guidance given in R. v Smith (Steven)  EWCA Crim 1772,  1 W.L.R. 1316,  7 WLUK 542 with the result that it was unworkable and disproportionate.
CA (Civ Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Davis LJ, Lewison LJ)
20 December 2018
Applications which sought to continue a claim for judicial review of the indeterminate licence regime in the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 s.31A were a "criminal cause or matter" within the meaning of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18 and s.151, and the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) had no jurisdiction to entertain them.
The Court of Appeal set out how it should proceed where the prosecution, in addition to appealing against a trial judge's ruling of no case to answer, also appealed against another ruling as permitted by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.58(7). The court would have to examine the relationship between the rulings under appeal in deciding which to consider first, given that if the prosecution failed to obtain permission to appeal, the accused person would be acquitted.
SC (Lord Mance DPSC, Lord Sumption JSC, Lord Reed JSC, Lord Hodge JSC, Lady Black JSC)
8 February 2018
On an appeal under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 s.24 against a prohibition notice, the employment tribunal was entitled to take into account all the available evidence relevant to the state of affairs at the time the notice was served, including information coming to light afterwards.
CA (Civ Div) (Gross LJ, Simon LJ, Peter Jackson LJ)
13 October 2017
A judge had been entitled to find that an announcement by the CPS that a person charged with "making" indecent photographs of children did not carry the defamatory meaning that the person was accused of having been present at the scene of abuse. The Court of Appeal should proceed cautiously before substituting its own views on meaning in a defamation case, and should only do so when it was satisfied that the judge was wrong.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Sir Stephen Silber)
18 October 2016
The criminal division of the Court of Appeal would not, as a matter of settled practice, entertain appeals against orders for costs properly made in the Crown Court at the time of sentence if the sole basis for the proposed appeal was an alleged subsequent change for the worse in the defendant's financial circumstances. The appropriate forum in which those matters should be addressed was the magistrates' court.
The court considered, and made observations regarding, the powers of single judges when considering applications under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.31 for leave to appeal against sentence. A single judge was not precluded from granting leave to appeal on limited grounds or against part of a sentence only.
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Dyson MR, Longmore LJ, Lloyd Jones LJ)
23 June 2016
The judge below had been wrong to conclude that consideration of the making of a protective costs order in favour of the appellant, who was appealing against his designation under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 s.2(1) , should await the disclosure process. There was no reason why the matter could not be considered before the disclosure exercise took place.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Globe J, Cheema-Grubb J)
26 February 2016
The Court of Appeal discouraged the Criminal Cases Review Commission from utilising the exceptional circumstances procedure permitted by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 s.13(2) for all instances where asylum seekers had been convicted of identity document offences irrespective of whether they had previously been before the Court of Appeal, and advised it to review the criteria used to justify exceptional reasons.
Although initially it would have been appropriate to extradite an offender to Poland to serve the remainder of a nine-month sentence for various offences, administrative errors which lead to a significant delay in his appeal against extradition being determined and service of his outstanding sentence on remand, meant that extradition would be a disproportionate interference with his ECHR art.8 rights and/or an abuse of process.
DC (Beatson LJ, Wilkie J)
28 October 2015
An applicant bore the burden of proof when applying for a taxi licence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.51 to show that he was a fit and proper person to hold such a licence, but when considering revocation of the licence it was for the local authority as the licensing authority to prove that the applicant was no longer a fit and proper person or that circumstances had changed.
The Criminal Procedure Rules r.17.27 was not designed to enable an unsuccessful party in an extradition appeal to regroup and return with further developed submissions. When deciding whether to exercise its jurisdiction under r.17.27 the court was to apply, with necessary modifications, the principles identified in McIntyre v Government of the United States~  EWHC 1886 (Admin).
When refusing a renewed application for permission to appeal against an extradition order, following refusal by the single judge, the court commented on the proper approach to renewal applications. Proper consideration of the single judge's reasons for refusal was required, setting out briefly and concisely why it was said that those reasons were wrong, and proper grounds for renewal had to be advanced.
A requested person had not demonstrated that he had done everything reasonably possible to ensure that an appeal notice had been given as soon as it could have been given pursuant to the Extradition Act 2003 s.26(5). The court gave guidance on the application of s.26(5) regarding the time limits applicable to appeal notices in extradition proceedings.
CA (Civ Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Jackson LJ, Black LJ)
26 March 2015
Home detention curfew was not analogous to the situation arising after a custodial term had come to an end where there was a statutory right to liberty requiring a former prisoner to be provided with an opportunity of an oral hearing to submit why he should not be recalled following a breach of licence. Where there was sufficient written evidence that a prisoner had breached a condition of his licensed release on home detention curfew, fairness did not require an oral hearing in his appeal against the decision to recall him to prison.
QBD (Admin) (Elisabeth Laing J)
12 March 2015
A registered social worker who had been made subject to an interim suspension order by the Investigating Committee of the Health and Care Professions Council should have made his appeal for the order to be terminated under the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2002 art.31(12)(a), rather than under CPR Pt 52.
An offender had not had a right of appeal under the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 s.108 against a decision ordering him to serve a term of imprisonment in default of payment of an outstanding fine. Such an order did not fall within the definition of "sentence" at s.108(3) because it was not made upon conviction but at a different time and for a different reason.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Supperstone J, Judge Tonking)
11 November 2014
A written note that flattered a 13-year-old girl, asked her to come around for "some fun" if she wanted to and stated that it was okay if she did not was not just an invitation. The words used were capable of amounting to an incitement to sexual activity. The court advised that in circumstances where the need to appeal arose during the currency of criminal proceedings and the appeal could be mounted very quickly, it was sufficient to tell the jury that a procedural issue had arisen that was neither the fault of the defence or prosecution and that the case had to be adjourned until the date that the issue could be resolved; to say otherwise would lead to rife speculation.
The requirement in the Criminal Procedure Rules 2014 Pt 67 to give immediate notice of an intention to seek permission to appeal against a terminating ruling was a mandatory pre-condition to establish appeal jurisdiction. The failure of counsel for the prosecution to give such notice, where he had withdrawn from the case due to professional embarrassment but remained ostensibly holding the prosecution brief, meant that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider an application for permission to appeal.
The High Court did not have jurisdiction to determine an appeal from a costs order made by a district judge under the Extradition Act 2003 s.60(1), where a person had challenged the order as a part of an unsuccessful appeal against the imposition of an extradition order. However, the High Court did have jurisdiction to vary or quash a costs order imposed under s.60(1) where the extradition order had been successfully appealed under s.26 and s.27.
The court set out the approach that should be adopted under the Extradition Act 2003 s.108. The express words of s.108 made it clear that a court would not re-open a final determination of any appeal for extradition unless it was necessary to avoid a real injustice, the circumstances were exceptional, and there was no alternative remedy.
An order for costs was quashed where it required a third party to pay nearly £12,000 for the maintenance of 12 horses taken into protection after a conviction for causing unnecessary suffering. Although the expenses had been occasioned by the delayed disposal of the horses pending the claimant's appeal in the Crown Court, they were not investigatory costs within the CPR r.77.6 and should have been claimed under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 s.21(4)(d).
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Griffith Williams J, Judge Thornton QC)
31 July 2013
Wrong legal advice given to a young offender regarding the potential loss of time served if he renewed an application for permission to appeal against a sentence of four years' detention for robbery had rendered his abandonment of his appeal a nullity.
Magistrates had been entitled to order the police to pay part of the respondent's costs of successfully opposing an application for the forfeiture of cash seized from him, the police having acted unreasonably in relying on an offence of which he had been acquitted.
Although there was conflicting authority on the issue, an extraditee had an entitlement to raise a point on appeal, even though the point could have been, but had not been, raised earlier at the extradition hearing.
The Crown Court did not have power to amend an order under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.240(3) by substituting an order under s.240(4). A sentencing judge had to make clear whether he was making a direction under s.240(3) or s.240(4) and if he made a direction under s.240(4), he had to indicate the basis upon which he did so by a statement in open court under s.240(6).
An application to reopen an appeal in extradition proceedings, on the basis that a decision of the Italian appeal court meant that a retrial in Italy was no longer possible, did not meet the high threshold in CPR r.52.17 and was an abuse of process where there had been a deliberate omission to put all the relevant matters before the Italian court.
Miscalculation of dates by the appellants' solicitors in respect of when the time limits for filing and serving their appeals against extradition orders expired did not deprive the appellants from being granted extensions of time to bring their appeals.
SC (Lord Phillips JSC (President), Lady Hale JSC, Lord Mance JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC)
23 May 2012
Where a requested person sought to appeal against an extradition order or a decision to send his case to the secretary of state, a generous view should be taken of what constituted giving "notice of an appeal" to the respondents. Further, in the case of British citizens facing extradition, the provisions in the Extradition Act 2003 concerning appeals should, in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(1), be read subject to the qualification that the court had to have a discretion in exceptional circumstances to extend the time for both filing and serving a notice of appeal.
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Milford QC)
2 May 2012
The Armed Forces Act 2006 Sch.16 para.45(2) removed from the Administration of Justice Act 1960 s.13(2)(c) the right to appeal from the Court of Appeal Criminal Division to the Supreme Court in cases involving contempt. As that could not have been Parliament's intention it was appropriate to rectify s.13(2)(c) to include a right of appeal from the criminal division to the Supreme Court.
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Treacy J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
26 April 2012
In order for the Crown to appeal a terminating ruling made under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.58, the conditions precedent, under s.58(4) and s.58(8), had to be complied with whereby the Crown had to inform the judge immediately after the ruling of its intention to appeal and had to notify the judge of its acquittal agreement. For the purpose of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 r.67.2(1)(a) "immediately after the ruling" meant "there and then".
The Crown Court should have stated a case in relation to its decision to order that a woman convicted of animal welfare offences pay £10,000 towards the costs of the RSPCA, which had brought the prosecution.
SC (Lord Phillips (President), Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Sumption JSC)
15 February 2012
An appeal to the Supreme Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005 art.11 in respect of a decision of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal to impose a restraint order would, as from February 29, 2012, require a certificate from the Court of Appeal that a point of law of general public importance was involved and leave to appeal. An appeal brought before that date was not subject to such requirements.
In an appeal under the Extradition Act 2003 s.103, the appellant's failure to serve notice of appeal on the secretary of state, who was not a respondent or a party, had not deprived the court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Although the appellant had failed to give the notice required by CPR PD 52, he was entitled to apply to remedy the breach in order to continue with the appeal.
The Police Appeals Tribunal had erred when determining the onward progression of an appeal from a misconduct hearing; it had based its initial decision that there should be an oral hearing on a ground of appeal not relied upon by the appellant and had then rescinded its decision and made a redetermination that the appeal should be dismissed without giving the appellant any opportunity to make representations.
FTT (Tax) (Judge John Clark)
20 October 2011
The fact that civil recovery proceedings were continuing against two appellants did not justify a stay of their appeals against tax assessments and penalty determinations; the issues in the respective proceedings were different, and the tax tribunal was not concerned with whether the tax claimed could be recovered against the appellants, or with the appellants' funding for the proceedings.
The district judge had correctly decided that the extradition of the appellant to Lithuania was not barred by reason of the passage of time within the meaning of the Extradition Act 2003 s.14. Whilst the requesting authority did not appear to have been assiduous in either the pursuit of the extradition or in providing entirely accurate information, the extradition would not be either unjust or oppressive.
A forfeiture order made in respect of cash confiscated by the police when searching the house of a person arrested on suspicion of fraud was quashed where her unchallenged evidence was that she had not received notice of the forfeiture hearing.
An individual whose extradition was sought by Poland for copyright offences was entitled to argue on appeal that they were not extradition offences, even though that issue had not been raised before the magistrates' court. The court was not satisfied that the charges on the European arrest warrant amounted to extradition offences as defined by the Extradition Act 2003 s.64 and that dual criminality was met in respect of those offences.
CA (Crim Div) (Goldring LJ, Burton J, Judge Mettyear QC Recorder of Hull)
27 July 2010
There was no bias in the Court of Appeal deciding whether or not to certify a question to the Supreme Court and the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.33(2) was not incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 and art.14.
The Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear an appeal against the refusal of an offender's application to vary a confiscation order made before the Crown Court pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.23.
The Extradition Act 2003 s.103(9) clearly required a notice of appeal to be filed within 14 days starting on the day when the secretary of state informed a person of an extradition order. It identified the starting point by reference to a particular day rather than a particular time and did not allow for 14 periods of 24 hours running consecutively from the time when a person was informed of an order.
The decision of an appellant court to refuse to grant bail to the subject of an extradition request was a decision that was not, as a matter of general principle, reviewable by a court of first instance subsequently apprised of a further application for bail.
It had been correct to issue an accusation warrant in respect of an offence for which a person had been convicted and sentenced where the lodging of an appeal meant that there had not been a final determination of the criminal process.
A decision of a Crown Court judge in confiscation proceedings had implicitly been made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6, which carried a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal, and not under s.27 of the Act, which carried no right of appeal, and so there was no jurisdiction for the Administrative Court to consider the correctness of that decision in judicial review proceedings.
The investigation of a complaint of police ill treatment by the same police force complained of did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3, as the availability of an appeal of the investigation to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the possibility of criminal proceedings against the relevant officers ensured that such an investigation was sufficiently independent.
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Burnett J, Sir Robert Nelson)
29 July 2009
A trial judge's ruling that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) had applied improper coercion and persuasion and thereby distorted the fairness of a criminal prosecution amounted to an error of law; it did not constitute an abuse of process for the FSA to conduct an investigation when there was a potential or pending prosecution, provided that it was mindful of the requirements of a fair criminal trial. Applications for leave to appeal against a terminating ruling should normally be made to the trial judge who made it, although there was no absolute requirement in that regard.
Where an issue was not raised at an extradition hearing but could be raised by an appellant on the evidence adduced at the extradition hearing, he was in general entitled to raise that issue on appeal to the Divisional Court, even though the issue was not raised at the extradition hearing.
There was no right of appeal under the Extradition Act 2003 against a decision of a magistrates' court to give its consent under s.55(6) of the Act to a request from a requesting state that an extraditee serve a sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him in respect of a conviction that did not form the basis of his original extradition.
A magistrates' court had no power at a preliminary stage of an appeal against an abatement notice to allow the amendment of the notice; however, it did have power under the Statutory Nuisance (Appeals) Regulations 1995 reg.2(5) when making a final order on an appeal to vary a notice so that it took effect as if it had originally been served on another person in substitution for the person named on it, or on another person in addition to the person named on it.
Although there had been an unusually long period of time between the imposition of a confiscation order against an offender and the actual proceedings to enforce the order, the delay was the consequence of the offender's decision to pursue every avenue of appeal available to him, and was not due to mere passage of time, so the delay was not unreasonable within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6.
The mere fact that defendants were appealing against their convictions did not afford them a reasonable excuse under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.8 for their failure to comply with community orders.
It would ordinarily be wrong for the secretary of state to be made a respondent to an appeal brought under the Extradition Act 2003 s.103, as he would not normally be required to consider afresh whether the extradition of the appellant was incompatible with his Convention rights.
Where a question remitted by the High Court to a judge under the Extradition Act 2003 had, as before, been decided adversely to the appellant, the effect of s.104(7) of the Act was that the original appeal was taken to have been dismissed by the High Court, and there was no jurisdiction to entertain a further appeal. Where the judge decided the remitted question differently from the earlier occasion, he had no power to send the case to the secretary of state and should discharge the appellant under s.104(6).
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Toulson J, Recorder of London)
26 January 2007
It was inappropriate to use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.23 to allow an appeal against a confiscation order where the time limit for an extension of time to satisfy an order had passed and where money had been seized and forfeited.
Under the Supreme Court Act 1981 s.28A(3) the court varied a sentence imposed by a magistrates' court where an offender had served part of his sentence some time ago and, for reasons not of his own making, an appeal against conviction had been delayed, and it would be unfair to require him to serve the remainder of his sentence, as a result of the dismissal of his appeal against conviction, given the passage of time and the sentence already served.
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, Openshaw J, Sir Charles Mantell)
31 July 2006
An appeal to the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal had been determined for the purposes of the Supreme Court Act 1981 s.55 when the judgment had been approved by all members of the court and released to counsel, and it did not matter that one of the judges was not present when the judgment was handed down.
The Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear an appeal from a judge's ruling on disclosure made at a preparatory hearing ordered under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 s.29 because the ruling did not form part of the preparatory hearing.
This case is reported at Times, August 15, 2006. A full Lawtel Case Report will be published once the transcript has been sourced. If you would like to register your interest you can do so through the Order Full Text link.
CPR r.52.3(1)(a)(i) could not be construed as restricting the right to appeal as of right to a contemnor and not to an applicant who sought to have a sentence increased, and permission to appeal was not required by either party. In the circumstances the 28 day suspended sentence passed on the contemnor, who had repeatedly breached non-molestation and occupation orders, was unduly lenient.
HL (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Mance, Lord Hoffmann)
26 January 2006
The Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.14(1) had the effect of preventing an order for conditional discharge made on conviction for an offence other than under the Sex Offenders Act 1997 from being classed as a conviction for the purposes of s.1(1) of the 1997 Act and thus of avoiding the notification requirements for sex offenders under the 1997 Act.
The Extradition Act 2003 s.34 did not remove the ancient right of habeas corpus in respect of decisions made under s.4(5) of the Act. Where the claimant had not been brought before a court as soon as was practicable, it was appropriate to grant a writ of habeas corpus.
A question of public importance was certified following the dismissal of the appellant's appeal against conviction for inflicting grievous bodily harm by infecting the complainant with HIV through unprotected consensual sexual intercourse.
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Forbes J, Calvert-Smith J)
21 July 2005
Following the adjournment of an application for leave to appeal against the minimum term imposed following a sentence of life imprisonment, the Court of Appeal commented on the inadequate provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 .
A decision of the magistrates to grant an application for an adjournment was set aside where no reasons had been provided for the grant of the adjournment and there was no information upon which the court could be satisfied that the magistrates had taken into account all the relevant considerations and excluded the irrelevant considerations.
A decision by a Crown court to decide an appeal without allowing the party in the position of prosecutor to present its case on the material available to it was wrong and amounted to procedural impropriety.
While there had been conflicting expert opinion about the probable cause of death of the appellant's baby, unlike in R. v Cannings (Angela) (2004) EWCA Crim 01 , (2004) 1 W.L.R. 2607 there had also been sufficient additional evidence before the jury to justify the verdict that she was guilty of his murder. The fact that the expert chosen by the defence had not given evidence at trial as well as was hoped, or that parts of his evidence were exposed as untenable, thereby undermining confidence in his evidence as a whole, did not begin to justify the calling of fresh evidence by further medical expert witnesses on appeal.
Fresh material sought to be relied upon by the appellants had not shown that the immigration appeal tribunal had been mistaken in its conclusion that the first appellant had not been persecuted for political reasons, nor did the material satisfy the principles set out in Ladd v Marshall (1954) 1 WLR 1489.
PC (Bah) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Sir John Roch, Sir Swinton Thomas)
10 February 2004
Domestic extradition legislation should be given a broad and liberal construction. The requesting State had a right of appeal, under Court of Appeal Act (the Bahamas) s.17(3), against a decision that the orders of committal for extradition were void and the writs of habeas corpus had to issue.
It had not been open to Bristol Crown Court to extend the period of the appellant's disqualification for driving whilst over the prescribed limit on the basis of extended findings of fact in circumstances where the court had not indicated that it was considering so doing and the appellant had had no opportunity to make submissions or give evidence.
The correct test for the Police Appeals Tribunal to apply when considering an appeal from the Misconduct Tribunal was not one of Wednesbury unreasonableness. It was open to the Police Appeals Tribunal to substitute its view of the matter for that of the Misconduct Tribunal.
In the circumstances an appellant could not appeal against a compensation order, as he had had two appeals in relation to sentence and had not pursued the appeal against the compensation order at those appeals; further, the compensation was awarded on the basis of an agreed schedule the schedule being fully explored at the hearing.
A conviction under s.5 Public Order Act 1986 was, in the circumstances, an interference with the appellant's human rights under Art.9 and Art.10 European Convention on Human Rights that was justified by the pressing social need to show tolerance to others. It had not been perverse for Wimbourne Magistrates court to hold that the words used on a sign in public were insulting within the meaning of s.5 Public Order Act 1986 and the appellant had no defence of reasonable conduct.
Where proceedings were initiated in the Crown Court following an allegation of a breach of the criminal law, an overall view of the proceedings was appropriate and not an order-by-order analysis to determine whether they remained a criminal cause under s.18(1)(a) Supreme Court Act 1981 which could not be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
New information given by a complainant at her post trial interview cast such doubt upon her credibility that convictions based upon her evidence were set aside. A re-trial was not appropriate because of the lengthy periods already spent in prison.
Fresh evidence only affected the safety of a conviction if it might reasonably have affected the jury's decision to convict. The acquittal of one defendant did not, in the absence of any cogent error or misunderstanding, make the conviction of a co-accused unsafe.
PC (Trin) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Hoffmann, Sir Andrew Leggatt, Sir Philip Otton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Scott of Foscote)
24 November 2003
Unsuccessful appeal against conviction for attempted murder where the appellant failed to establish that the conduct of either the trial judge or the appellant's counsel at trial or on appeal rendered his conviction unsafe. However the appeal against sentence was allowed since the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago did not have the power to vary the sentence imposed by the trial judge.
The judge had erred in allowing the prosecution to re-examine the mother of a complainant in order to establish the consistency of the complaint with the complainant's testimony, but that error did not render the subsequent convictions for indecent assault unsafe. However, the sentences imposed had been manifestly excessive.
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Roderick Evans J, Judge Jeremy Roberts)
7 November 2003
The trial judge had not directed the jury that a person might be dishonest, for the purposes of an offence of false accounting, as a consequence of recklessness and the appellant's conviction was safe.
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Henriques J, Grigson J)
21 October 2003
A rape conviction was unsafe where the trial judge had refused the appellant's counsel leave, under s.41 Youth Justice And Criminal Evidence Act 1999, to cross-examine the complainant in relation to occasions before and after the rape complaint when she was alleged to have had consensual sexual intercourse with the appellant. The evidence was relevant to the issue of consent and its exclusion deprived the appellant of a fair trial.
When asking a court to reconsider the conclusion of another court, it was absolutely elementary that solicitors and counsel having conduct of the matter should obtain a transcript of the judgment of that other court.
Successful appeal against conviction for rape, attempted rape and indecent assault where the judge failed to adequately direct the jury on the proper approach to the separate treatment of counts in two sets of joined charges arising from the allegations of two complainants, who were stepdaughters of the appellant.
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Cresswell J, Bennett J)
31 July 2003
The appellants' convictions in 1970 for murder were unsafe in light of the cumulative effect of criticisms against the conviction relating to the credibility of the prosecution's main witness and the failure to disclose certain evidence to the defence.
Where a firm of solicitors acted for two co-defendants there was no conflict of interest that operated to taint the conduct of the appellant's defence. He was not misadvised by his counsel, nor was his case mishandled.
Where the appellant had a first instance conviction in Holland the judge had been correct to permit him, if he wished, to mention his character but with a reference to the conviction. It was the appellant's choice to say nothing and since there was no evidence of good character, no direction was required from the judge about it. The proper sentence was 10 years imprisonment and 12 years was manifestly excessive.
The non-disclosure of a witness's previous convictions for dishonesty offences would have affected the defence in that the witness would have been cross-examined more rigorously. However, that witness's evidence did not go to the heart of the case and would not have affected the verdict had the previous convictions been disclosed.
A conviction for murder referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission was safe as none of the matters raised by the appellant would have affected the outcome of the trial in the light of the other evidence.
Public interest required a retrial where there was the serious offence of murder, even though there had been a substantial lapse of time since the offence: it was still possible for the retrial to be fair.
Where issues in a trial of offences relating to the making, possession and distribution of indecent pseudo-photographs of children were neither complex or lengthy, the judges' pre-trial ruling on a point of law could not have been made at a preparatory hearing under s.29 Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996, and therefore there was no right of appeal against that ruling.
A judge had exercised his discretion fairly under s.41 Youth and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 by ruling as admissible certain evidence about sexual abuse on complainant children by persons other than their parents against whom criminal proceedings had been brought.
The Crown Court had exceeded its jurisdiction by refusing to hear an appeal against conviction on the basis of non-attendance by the appellant where counsel was present, and was obliged in those circumstances to hear any such appeal even where there was a legal duty on the appellant to attend.
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett)
14 November 2002
The convictions of the defendants in the Guinness/Distillers trial were not unsafe despite the fact that their trials had been held to be unfair in their applications before the European Court of Human Rights.
CA (Civ Div) (Tuckey LJ, Latham LJ, Sir Denis Henry)
21 October 2002
The judge's conclusion that the claimant and defendant were each 50 per cent liable for a road traffic accident was entirely appropriate in circumstances where the claimant had been travelling too fast and the defendant had failed to observe the claimant overtaking him.
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Newman J, Roderick Evans J)
26 April 2002
The Criminal Cases Review Commission could, in exceptional circumstances, make a reference to the Court of Appeal where there was no new argument or evidence. In the absence of new argument or evidence the proper exercise of the Court of Appeal's power to depart from its previous reasoning or conclusions should equally be confined to exceptional circumstances.
The interests of justice did not require representation on an application for leave to appeal against conviction and the procedure of not providing legal aid for such a hearing was not contrary to Art.6(3)(c) European Convention on Human Rights.
CA (Civ Div) (Schiemann LJ, May LJ, Jonathan Parker LJ)
21 March 2002
It was in the interests of justice that the issue of whether s.3 Treason and Felony Act 1848 was incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998 should be litigated before the courts. * Application for leave to appeal to the House of Lords pending.
A review of the former procedure for criminal appeals in New Zealand found that the procedure adopted in twelve appeals had been contrary to fundamental conceptions of fairness and justice. Decisions that appeals were unmeritorious could only be made after the statutory appeals procedure had been followed.
Where the applicant sought a re-hearing of his appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, but had not explained his physical absence from the hearing, which was a mandatory requirement, his application for a re-hearing was bound to fail. Further, there was no express requirement in the rules that the applicant had to be present at the hearing.
HCJ Appeal (Lord Cullen LJG, Lord Kirkwood, Lord Osborne, Lord Macfadyen, Lord Nimmo Smith)
14 March 2002
An unsuccessful appeal against conviction for murder by the Libyan man found guilty of planting an explosive device on Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie killing 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents of Lockerbie.
HCJ Appeal (Lord Gill LJC, Lord Marnoch, Lady Cosgrove, Lord Reed, Lady Paton)
6 February 2002
The inflexibility of s.107(4) Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 meant that the time limit for leave to appeal against convictions and sentences could not be extended and should therefore be reconsidered by the Scottish Parliament.
HL (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton)
29 November 2001
Although the reasoning of the majority of the House of Lords in R v Lambert (2001) could not be supported, it was not appropriate to depart from that decision. Consequently, on a reference to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, a defendant whose trial took place before the coming into force of ss.6(1) and 7(1)(b) Human Rights Act 1998 was not entitled, after the coming into force of those provisions, to rely as a ground of appeal against his conviction on an alleged breach of his Convention rights at the trial by the prosecutor.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Gage J, Thomas J)
28 November 2001
When reducing a young offender's sentence for affray from 30 months' detention to a term of 21 months, the Court of Appeal noted the importance of obtaining a report setting out the offender's progress from the institution at which the sentence was being served, particularly where there was no pre-sentence report available.
A deterrent sentence was required where the defendant, convicted of 19 counts of unauthorised possession of goods bearing a trade mark, had copied 3,000 to 4,000 music compact discs that were indistinguishable from legitimate discs. Concurrent sentences of 30 months' imprisonment on each count were not manifestly excessive or wrong in principle.
HL (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton)
5 July 2001
The imposition of a legal, rather than an evidential, burden on a defendant by s.28(2) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 violated Art.6(2) European Convention on Human Rights. However, the appellant could not rely on Convention rights in respect of a conviction before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force.
CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Jack J, Sir Harry Ognall)
13 June 2001
There are currently reporting restrictions in force on this case and so a full LAWTEL Case Report is not yet available. This case will reappear on the Daily Update once a full LAWTEL Case Report can be published.
PC (Trin) (Lord Steyn, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett)
10 April 2001
An appellate court had to approach complaints about counsel's incompetence and its effect with a healthy scepticism. However, where the breaches of duty were fundamental the conclusion had to be that the defendant was deprived of due process.
Ch D (Lightman J)
20 March 2001
Where Customs & Excise Commissioners had failed to plead an alternative case, after their case of fraud was withdrawn, the Value Added Tax and Duties Tribunal had correctly exercised its discretion to strike out their case and allow the taxpayer's appeal.
CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Jack J, Sir Harry Ognall)
28 February 2001
Where a ruling at an interlocutory hearing concerned the construction of the indictment regarding the issues in a case, then the purpose of the ruling fell within the words of s.7(1)(a) Criminal Justice Act 1987 as "identifying issues which were likely to be material to the verdict" giving the Court of Appeal jurisdiction to hear an appeal on the rulings made.
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton)
5 February 2001
The House of Lords had no power to extend the 14-day time limit for a prosecutor to lodge his application for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to quash a conviction.
HCJ (Lord Sutherland, Lord Coulsfield, Lord MacLean)
31 January 2001
Verdicts on the two Libyans accused of planting an explosive device on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie.
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde)
24 January 2001
Both the defendants and the prosecution successfully appealed against the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal's order that the defendants be retried for murder because the appeal court had failed to consider the safety of the convictions and the issue of a retrial as two distinct issues.
Appeals against sentences by magistrates' courts that did not raise jurisdictional issues had to be to the Crown Court. Accordingly, an application to extend time to appeal by way of case stated was refused. The defendant's remedy was to apply for leave to appeal out of time to the Crown Court.
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Sullivan J, Hallett J)
19 December 2000
Appeal allowed where a trial had been materially unfair, because there had been a failure by the Crown in respect of its disclosure obligations in the context of submissions made ex parte to the trial judge. Exceptions to justice being conducted openly and in public should only occur in cases where there was an overriding public interest not to do so. Competing public interests weighed against the court being required to give full reasons for allowing the instant appeal.
PC (StV) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse)
13 December 2000
Successful appeal against conviction for murder in Saint Vincent because the judge's summing up was unfair and biased.
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Ebsworth J, Sullivan J)
8 December 2000
A failure by the Crown to disclose a fingerprint on the murder weapon that did not belong to the accused was a defect in the trial, but in the circumstances it did not render the conviction unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Steel J, Butterfield J)
9 November 2000
Unsuccessful appeal against convictions, on guilty pleas, for assisting the commission outside the United Kingdom of an offence equivalent to one contrary to s.20 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
PC (Sc) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Clyde)
2 October 2000
Appeals or references for opinion to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council under the Scotland Act 1998 had to raise devolution issues as defined in para.1 sch.6 of the Act.
QBD (Turner J)
21 July 2000
The respondents were obliged to give sufficient reasons for their refusal of applications for compensation for personal injuries caused by criminal violence and could not merely cite the ground of refusal provided by the scheme which they were administering. They were also required to disclose at least the gist of the evidence relied on in reaching their decision.
DC (Laws LJ, Rafferty J)
4 July 2000
The Crown Court had the jurisdiction to hear a prosecutor's appeal against the grant of bail to the applicant, notwithstanding that the hearing of the appeal had not commenced within the 48-hour period prescribed by s.1(8) Bail (Amendment) Act 1993.
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Ian Kennedy J, Hallett J)
18 May 2000
It was only in a rare case that the Court of Appeal would (i) consider that a conviction was unsafe because an appellant who had pleaded guilty was now claiming that he did not do the act relied upon, (ii) receive fresh evidence that was completely different from the defence given at trial, and (iii) receive evidence from an appellant who had chosen not to give evidence before the jury.
DC (Schiemann LJ, Douglas Brown J)
4 April 2000
A Crown Court hearing an appeal from a magistrates' court had jurisdiction to order an unsuccessful appellant to pay the prosecutor sums by way of costs which the magistrates had refused to award to the prosecutor, but should hesitate before doing so. In the usual case, the magistrates would be far better placed than the Crown Court to decide how much of the costs of legal proceedings before them the prosecution should recover.
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Alliott J, Maurice Kay J)
28 March 2000
In an unsuccessful appeal against a conviction for one offence of grievous bodily harm, when tendering fresh evidence on appeal, it had to be accompanied by an affidavit from the appellant's solicitor which described the circumstances in which the new witness had come forward and made the statement.
PC (Trin) (Lord Hutton)
23 March 2000
A decision on whether an appellant was entitled to a second appeal against conviction to the Privy Council was adjourned in order that it could be heard by the full Board.
PC (Mau) (Lord Hutton)
9 March 2000
Consideration of an application by a barrister for reinstatement on the Roll of practising barristers was not "civil proceedings" and the Supreme Court of Mauritius had no jurisdiction to grant leave to appeal. The Supreme Court had been entitled to take the view that the primary consideration was that, in the public interest, the reputation of the legal profession must be upheld in the community.
PC (Ber) (Lord Steyn)
28 February 2000
Where there was simply an assessment of the strength of the evidence, then a decision on a submission of no case to answer was arrived at on matters of fact and degree and did not involve a question of law alone.
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Brian Smedley J, Goldring J)
24 February 2000
In deciding whether it was necessary or in the interests of justice to receive fresh evidence, in the event that there was no reasonable explanation for why the evidence was not made available at trial, the Court of Appeal would consider the effect of the evidence in the event that it was received.
DC (Simon Brown LJ, Blofeld J)
15 February 2000
The magistrates' court had been mistaken when refusing an application to adjourn and, despite the delay, the matter was to be remitted.
CA (Crim Div) (Evans LJ, Hooper J, Judge Dyer)
8 December 1998
Sentences imposed on two heroin addicts for possession of heroin with intent to supply and/or for supplying heroin were reduced to properly reflect guilty pleas that had been entered and other compelling mitigating circumstances.