QBD (Admin) (Clive Sheldon QC)
16 January 2020
A Parole Board had erred in its decision not to recommend the transfer of an indeterminate-sentence prisoner to open conditions. In particular, it had failed to undertake the balancing exercise between the risks and benefits of such a transfer, as required by the directions issued pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(6).
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Spencer J, William Davis J)
19 December 2019
It was for the defence at trial to take decisions as to whether to use or act on disclosed unused material, and a failure to inspect such material was unlikely to justify a later application, following conviction, for it to be introduced as fresh evidence. The court emphasised that only in exceptional circumstances would evidence be admitted that could have been adduced at trial.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, William Davis J, Johnson J)
12 December 2019
On an ordinary reading of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.1(1), an appellate court had jurisdiction to entertain a defendant’s appeal against conviction on one count on an indictment, even though it had previously determined, on its merits, an appeal by the defendant against a conviction on another count on the same indictment. However, that jurisdiction was to be exercised sparingly and with caution.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Munro QC)
5 December 2019
When dismissing an appeal against a conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, the Court of Appeal made general observations on the purpose and nature of the summing-up of facts and the scope of a trial judge’s task in that respect.
DC (Lord Burnett LCJ, May J)
5 December 2019
The court emphasised that general complaints about the operation of a type-approved breath testing device should be addressed to the secretary of state, not used to ground a disclosure application. Defence representatives were responsible for ensuring that experts understood the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules and Directions, and that the expert reports which they served on behalf of their clients were reliable and admissible. If such reports were to be relied upon for the purpose of seeking further disclosure in relation to a type-approved machine, they should address all the matters identified in R. (on the application of DPP) v Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court  EWHC 3719 (Admin).
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Sweeney J, Sir Roderick Evans)
29 November 2019
In an indecent assault trial which turned on the comparative credibility of the complainant and the defendant, the judge should have given a full good-character direction in respect of the defendant. His failure to do so, coupled with his direction that the jury should treat the unchallenged evidence of the defendant’s character witnesses with caution, simply because they knew him well, rendered the defendant’s conviction unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Fulford LJ, Sir Henry Globe)
29 November 2019
The Registrar of Criminal Appeals had no power to determine the substantive merits of an application for leave to appeal, but had to refer such applications to the full court pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.36.15. Consistently with the scheme of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, an “effective” application was one which complied with the procedural requirements, with no additional requirement that it be arguable.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Nicklin J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
26 November 2019
An individual’s conviction for two counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue were safe. Although there had been failures in the prosecution’s disclosure process, they had not been in bad faith and they had been cured by the time of the trial. The prosecution had also been entitled not to investigate further the allegation that there had been another conspirator, due to insufficient evidence against him.
CA (Crim Div) (Irwin LJ, Warby J, Martin Spencer J)
22 November 2019
The Crown Court had been entitled to vary upwards a confiscation order after the High Court, in a claim by the defendant against his solicitors alleging that their conveyancing error had led to his conviction for breaching an enforcement notice and the confiscation order, had made an order indemnifying him against any increase in the order. The indemnity represented an “available amount” for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.22.