Our Latest Case Reviews

R v Westwood (Thomas) [2020] EWCA Crim 598

“The case related to the sentencing of a man who had killed his own mother in a frenzied knife attack and it led the court of appeal to review the full range of possible disposals available to a sentencing judge under the Mental Health Act 1983and to review the earlier authorities on the correct approach to the exercise of deciding which of those provisions to apply. The court also considered what level of discount should apply for a guilty plea in circumstances where defence lawyers take the view that psychiatric evidence is necessary to investigate fitness to plead, insanity or diminished responsibility or where a defendant has a significantly reduced ability to understand what is alleged against him …”

ADDED Wednesday 28th October 2020
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R v Barton & Booth [2020] 2 Cr App R 7

“The case came before a specially constituted five-judge court, including the Lord Chief Justice, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the Vice President of the Criminal Division and was concerned with the test of dishonesty in English criminal law. The court also had to consider the doctrine of precedent - which it described as the very foundation stone of the administration of justice and the rule of law - and to decide whether to follow a Court of Appeal decision which had stood for more than 35 years or a much more recent decision of the Supreme Court, even though, in the latter case, the Supreme Court’s consideration of the concept of dishonesty had not been necessary to its decision and would not, therefore, according to the rules of precedent as hitherto understood, have been binding on the Court of Appeal in this case …”

ADDED Tuesday 27th October 2020
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R v Nguyen (Van Huong) [2020] 1 WLR 3084

“The case was concerned with the evidential status of a police interview with one defendant inculpating a co-defendant, where the interviewee changes his story at trial and instead gives evidence exculpating his co-defendant ...”

ADDED Monday 26th October 2020
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Hafeez v Government of the United States of America [2020] 1 WLR 1296

“The case arose from an extradition request by the US government in relation to an alleged drugs kingpin. The issues raised on the appeal to the Divisional Court included alleged violations of his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention if were extradited to the United States and included reference to the alleged suicide in the controversial Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan of the disgraced paedophile financier, Jeffrey Epstein …”

ADDED Friday 23rd October 2020
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National Crime Agency v Hussain (Mansoor Mahmood) [2020] 1 WLR 2145

“The judgment involved a wide-ranging review of the Unexplained Wealth Order regime and the associated Interim Freezing Order provisions, with detailed consideration of the holding requirement, the value requirement, the income requirement, the serious crime requirement and the Politically Exposed Person requirement. The case also prompted the court to consider whether or not such applications should ordinarily be held in private ...”

ADDED Thursday 22nd October 2020
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R v Roddis (Nicholas Ian) [2020] 4 WLR 69

“The case was concerned with a post-conviction diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder and whether it impacted on the safety of the appellant’s convictions for placing a hoax bomb with intent and for engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism ...”

ADDED Wednesday 21st October 2020
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Re National Crime Agency [2020] 1 WLR 3224

“The case was concerned, firstly, with the interplay between the various different types of investigation now contemplated within the much amended Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and, specifically, whether the existence of a concurrent cash investigation, detained property investigation or frozen funds investigation can curtail the availability of a disclosure order in a confiscation, civil recovery, money laundering or exploitation proceeds investigation. And the court addressed, secondly, the jurisdiction of the High Court to entertain an appeal by way of case stated from the decision of a Crown Court judge whether to make a disclosure order and, if so, in what terms ...”

ADDED Tuesday 20th October 2020
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GMC v Saeed (Muhammad Saqib)  [2020] EWHC 830 (Admin)

“The case related to an appeal by the General Medical Council from a decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal not to strike off a doctor who had been convicted by a jury of domestic abuse in the form of Controlling and Coercive Behaviour and Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm but instead to suspend him for 12 months. It prompted the court to review, generally, the authorities on appeals from a professional disciplinary tribunal and to consider, specifically, the status of the Sanctions Guidance, which is published jointly by the GMC and the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ...”

ADDED Monday 19th October 2020
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R (Terra Services Ltd) v National Crime Agency  [2020] 1 WLR 1149

“The case related to steps taken by the Home Secretary and the National Crime Agency in actioning a request for Mutual Legal Assistance from the US Department of Justice. It prompted the court to give consideration to whether particular safeguards are required when conducting a closed hearing in respect of material which attracts public interest immunity, specifically in this case the appointment of a special advocate. It also led the court to map out what it described as a hierarchy of proceedings, with applications affecting the liberty of the subject at the top and applications relating to search and seizure warrants towards the bottom of this so-called hierarchy. All talk of an Englishman’s home being his castle now seems to belong to a dim and distant past ...”

ADDED Friday 16th October 2020
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Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Airbus SE, Southwark Crown Court (Case No: U20200108)

“The case concerned systemic corruption across multiple jurisdictions by one of the two largest multi-national corporations in the aerospace industry. It prompted the court to review the legal framework for Deferred Prosecution Agreements, including the principles to be derived from the earlier authorities, and it resulted in a financial penalty of more than €990 million (nearly €1 billion) - a figure greater than the total of all the sums paid pursuant to previous DPAs and more than double the total of fines paid in respect of all criminal conduct in England and Wales in the calendar year 2018 ...”

ADDED Thursday 15th October 2020
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R v Smith (Andrew) [2020] 1 Cr App R 23

“This was a ‘rogue trader’ case. It arose from the activities of a man with a string of convictions for fraud, who had entered into a contract with an elderly gentleman to undertake some gardening work but where subsequent inquiries by Trading Standards suggested that he had deliberately and dishonestly failed to tell his customer about the right under the Consumer Protection Regulations to cancel the contract. The main issue on the appeal was whether what was said to be a forged cancellation notice, allegedly created after the event to cover his tracks, was capable of being an article which he had in his possession or under his control ‘for use in the course of or in connection with fraud’ …”

ADDED Wednesday 14th October 2020
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R (Elgizouli) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] 3 All ER 1

“The judgments related to the notorious case of the so-called Isis Beatles,who had been implicated in gruesome crimes in Syria and the international efforts to bring them to justice. The Supreme Court had to consider, firstly, whether there is any principle of common law which prevents HM Government providing to the authorities of another jurisdiction information which might lead to the imposition the death penalty in that jurisdiction and, secondly, the import and effect of Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 governing transfers of personal data to a third country or an international organisation …”

ADDED Tuesday 13th October 2020
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R v Richards (Tony) (Hunt intervening) [2020] 1 WLR 3344

“The case concerned the secret filming of consensual sexual activity by one of the participants without the knowledge of the other and prompted the Court of Appeal to consider whether that constituted voyeurism within the meaning of sections 67 & 68 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Whilst the particular facts involved escorts whom a man had paid for sex being secretly recorded by him without their knowledge for his own later gratification, it would appear to have wider implications in the context of so-called revenge porn and the uploading of secretly recorded footage to the internet ...”

ADDED Monday 12th October 2020
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R v Broughton (Ceon) [2020] EWCA Crim 1093

“The case related to the death of a young woman at a music festival after being given a cocktail of drugs by her boyfriend, who then proceeded to photograph and film the victim as her condition gradually deteriorated. It prompted the Court of Appeal to consider the law of gross negligence manslaughter, in particular the test of causation in cases based on a failure to give or obtain medical treatment ...”

ADDED Friday 9th October 2020
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R (Iqbal) v Canterbury Crown Court [2020] 2 Cr App R 1

“The case was concerned with the jurisdiction of the Administrative Court to entertain a judicial review application in relation to a refusal of bail by the Crown Court and prompted the court to review the domestic and European provisions, to synthesise the principles to be derived from the earlier authorities and to give guidance about the approach to be taken both by the criminal courts and by defence solicitors where a person has previously been ‘released under investigation’ and not on bail ...”

ADDED Thursday 8th October 2020
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R (Defending Christian Arabs) v Guildford Magistrates’ Court & Tony Blair [2020] EWHC 1850 (Admin)

“The case concerned an attempt to bring a private prosecution against the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as a result of the alleged deployment of chemical weapons by British armed forces during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. It prompted the court to consider the approach a magistrate should take to a request for the issue of a summons and to focus, in particular, on the question of the magistrates’ territorial jurisdiction, the concept of improper ulterior motive, the issue of delay and the ingredients of the offence of administering a noxious substance under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.”

ADDED Wednesday 7th October 2020
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Biffa Waste Services Ltd v Environment Agency [2020] EWCA Crim 827

“The case concerned the trans-frontier shipment of waste and the application of the EU and UK regulations. Specifically, the role of the jury in determining whether particular waste is caught by the export ban on certain types of waste to certain countries and the circumstances in which household waste can be re-categorised as material outwith the prohibition. The case also provided a helpful illustration of where the prosecution will be permitted to adduce bad character evidence in order to correct a false impression given by the defendant ...”

ADDED Tuesday 6th October 2020
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Re K (Secretary of State for Justice intervening) [2020] 2 WLR 1279

“The case was concerned with forced marriages, the culture of so-called honour murders and violence and the approach to be taken by the court to Forced Marriage Protection Orders, in particular where the forced individual is an adult with full capacity who opposes the making or continuation of the order. The court considered,  specifically, the jurisdiction to ban international travel and require the surrender of a passport and also gave guidance on how the court should seek to arrive at an outcome which accommodates both the absolute prohibition on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention and the qualified right to a private and family life under Article 8 ...”

ADDED Monday 5th October 2020
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R (Bamber) v Crown Prosecution Service [2020] EWHC 1391 (Admin)

“The judgment concerned one of the most notorious murder cases of recent times and prompted the court to consider the scope of the prosecution’s disclosure obligations post-conviction as well as the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission in correcting miscarriages of justice ...”

ADDED Friday 2nd October 2020
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National Crime Agency v Hajiyeva [2020] 1 WLR 3209

“The case concerned the approach to be taken to the grant of an Unexplained Wealth Order and involved, in particular: an examination of the concept of a ‘Politically Exposed Person’; the so-called ‘income’ question as to whether a person’s wealth appears to be unexplained; and also whether there is any scope for the operation of the privilege against self-incrimination and spousal privilege …”

ADDED Thursday 1st October 2020
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