Top 50 Cases 2020

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

R v Andrewes (Jon) [2020] EWCA Crim 1055

“This case arose from a fairly extreme version of what is sometimes euphemistically described as CV padding. In short, the defendant had obtained a succession of prestigious public sector positions on the basis of application forms in which he described his educational qualifications and professional career in a way which bore absolutely no relation to reality. This was one of the scenarios in relation to which the Supreme Court in their seminal judgment and R v Waya had expressly left open the question of how the concept of proportionality should operate in the context of the confiscation regime. It prompted the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to conduct a comprehensive review of the authorities both before and after Waya and to lay down clear and practical guidance as to how a judge dealing with confiscation proceedings should approach the whole question of proportionality ...”

ADDED Thursday 12th November 2020

Ashbolt v HMRC [2020] STC 1813

“The case arose from the response of certain taxpayers and their professional advisers to the Treasury’s introduction of the so called ‘loan charge’ under the Finance Act (No 2) 2017, which was intended to enable HM Revenue and Customs to put an end to what had become a widespread practice of avoiding income tax by characterising payments as loans rather than income. HMRC commenced a criminal investigation into the conduct of a number of subscribers to a particular tax avoidance scheme and, in the course of that investigation, they obtained and executed search warrants relating to both residential and business premises. The question arose whether the first set of access conditions in paragraph 2 to Scheduled 1 of PACE, and whether the further condition in paragraph 14(d) of that schedule had been satisfied. It prompted the Divisional Court to issue a stern warning about the need for scrupulous care in presenting such an application and the court also gave guidance on how, in practical terms, the judge to whom the application is made should be assisted in focusing on the key issues which he or she needs to resolve …”

ADDED Monday 30th November 2020

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

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

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

R v Black (Ludovic) [2020] EWCA Crim 915

“The appeal related to a prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office of a criminal conspiracy, involving high pressure selling to elderly and vulnerable customers in the context of a fraudulent investment scheme for government-backed renewable energy. It caused the Court of Appeal to consider the circumstances in which it will be appropriate for the trial judge to give adverse inference directions relating to silence in a police interview or alleged inadequacies in a defence statement ...”

ADDED Monday 16th November 2020

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

R (C) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2020] 4 WLR 158

“The case was concerned with the lawfulness of the measures taken by UK law enforcement to obtain from the French authorities data relating to the so-called EncroChat communication platform, which is alleged to have been used by the criminal fraternity in the belief that such communications could not be spied upon or obtained by the police and other investigation and prosecution agencies. Encrochat hit the headlines when it was announced that the system had been cracked, leading to many hundreds of arrests and numerous criminal investigations and prosecutions …”

ADDED Thursday 7th January 2021

R v CB; R v Mohammed (Sultan) [2020] 2 Cr App R 305

“This important judgment comes in the wake of a series of high profile cases attracting widespread media coverage, often but not always prosecutions for sex offences, where the police have come under heavy criticism for alleged failings in their investigation of material stored on complainants’ mobile phones or other digital devices. The two otherwise unrelated appeals had been listed together, in order to allow the Court of Appeal to consider a number of generic issues relating to the retention, inspection, copying, disclosure and deletion of electronic records held by complainants and other prosecution witnesses …”

ADDED Friday 13th November 2020

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

R (Director of Public Prosecutions) v Woolwich Crown Court [2020] EWHC 3243 (Admin)

“This case involved two separate applications for judicial review, which were unconnected save that they raised similar issues regarding the correct approach to be taken to Custody Time Limit applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The background to the judicial review proceedings was the measures taken by the United Kingdom government in seeking to combat the spread of the virus generally and the specific steps taken, in order to enable trial by jury to continue ...”

ADDED Tuesday 5th January 2021

R (Dolan) v Secretary of State for Health & Social Care & Secretary of State for  Education [2020] EWCA Civ 1605

“This is the final video case review in the CrimeCast series, ‘The Top 50 Cases of 2020’, and it relates to an issue which has dominated all of our lives for the past year … The case was concerned with the lockdown regulations and involved challenges to the lawfulness of the regulations on three main grounds, namely that they were ultra vires (that is to say, there was no power to make them under the relevant primary legislation), that they were also unlawful on other conventional public law grounds and that they violated a number of Convention rights, which are guaranteed in domestic law under the Human Rights Act 1998 …”

ADDED Wednesday 17th February 2021

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

Fuseon Ltd v Senior Courts Costs Office & Lord Chancellor [2020] 2 Cr App R 2

“The case was concerned with the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction to disturb a judge’s decision as to costs where that costs decision would effect real injustice (and even though the judge has refused to certify a point of principle of general importance). The specific point in issue was whether the determining officer and then the costs judge had been right to reduce substantially the award of costs, as against the costs claimed by the private prosecutor, by making a comparison with the costs that would have been incurred by the Crown Prosecution Service had they conducted the case and by applying the so-called Singh reduction after standing back and making a broad assessment of the overall level of the costs claimed ...”

ADDED Tuesday 12th January 2021

Serious Fraud Office v G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (Case No: U20201392)

“The case was concerned with a Deferred Prosecution Agreement relating to G4S, one of the biggest players in the global public procurement market. The facts related, ironically, to G4S’s provision of one of the key services contracted out by the government in relation to the day-to-day operation of the criminal justice system. This was the 8th Deferred Prosecution Agreement entered into in this jurisdiction since the regime was first introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and it gave the court an opportunity to continue the development of the principles to be applied …”

ADDED Wednesday 27th January 2021

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

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

R v Hepburn (Alex) [2020] EWCA Crim 820

“The case was concerned with a rape trial that included evidence about a game of sexual conquest, in which a group of professional cricketers playing for one of the leading teams in English county cricket competed with each other to see how many women they could sleep with over a 6-month period. The game was to be played out and the scores recorded on Whatsapp. It prompted the Court of Appeal to consider a series of separate but related concepts within the Bad Character provisions including evidence to do with the facts of the offence; important explanatory evidence; evidence of an important matter in issue between the prosecution and the defence; material whose prejudicial effect outweighs its probative value; as well as related issues such as the tenor of cross-examination by prosecution counsel and a trial judge’s warnings to the jury about evidence of a particularly scandalous nature …”

ADDED Tuesday 17th November 2020

R (Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Ltd) v Crown Prosecution Service [2020] UKSC 39

“The case was concerned with an animal welfare prosecution and, specifically, the question whether the provisions under which charges had been laid created offences of strict liability. It prompted the Supreme Court to go back to first principles in examining the relationship between EU and domestic UK regulations. The court referred, for example, to the 2012 judgment in the case of Julian Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority (Nos 1 & 2) on the dangers of applying English principles of statutory construction to the interpretation of an EU treaty, EU Regulations or Directives or an EU framework decision. And the court also reviewed European Union law principles of legislative interpretation ...”

ADDED Monday 2nd November 2020

Hunt v Director of Public Prosecutions [2020] 4 WLR 81

“This was a costs application arising from another judgment, which was itself the subject of an earlier video case review in this series. The claimant had, with the backing of the Centre for Women’s Justice, applied to judicially review a decision of the DPP not to prosecute a man for voyeurism and had then intervened in an unrelated case raising the identical legal issue in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). Her claim for the costs of that intervention prompted a comprehensive review of the provisions and the authorities on interveners, their costs and the meaning of the phrase ‘of or incidental to proceedings’ ...”

ADDED Wednesday 4th November 2020

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

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

R v Jelf (Nathan) [2020] 2 Cr App R (S) 52

“The case concerned football hooliganism and the imposition of football banning orders under the Football Spectators Act 1989. It illustrated some of the difficulties of the highly technical provisions which make fine distinctions which are not always easy to follow or apply. Ultimately, however, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) exercised its extensive powers to substitute a sentence or other order which might have been imposed or made by the court below had the sentencing judge correctly directed himself or herself on the law ...”

ADDED Tuesday 10th November 2020

R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v Secretary of State for Home Department [2020] 4 All ER 1027

“The case was concerned with the lawfulness of one of the key planks of the so-called ‘hostile environment’ designed to combat illegal immigration into the United Kingdom. It involved a Judicial Review challenge to the ‘Right to Rent Scheme’, which originally introduced civil penalties for private landlords who failed to satisfy themselves of the immigration status of prospective tenants and later imposed swinging criminal sanctions on those who failed to terminate the tenancy of any individual whom they knew or believed to be disqualified under the scheme. A Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division granted a declaration of incompatibility with the European Convention and the subsequent appeal by the Home Secretary prompted the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) to review the European and domestic jurisprudence on what amounts to discrimination and when it can be justified …”

ADDED Wednesday 13th January 2021

R (Jordan) v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police [2020] EWHC 2274 (Admin)

“The case was concerned with a search warrant executed at residential premises. In support of the application for the warrant the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police had placed before the Justice of the Peace certain material which, he later contended, attracted Public Interest Immunity and ought not to be disclosed to the homeowner. The matter came before the Administrative Court after the homeowner issued an application to judicially review the warrant. In handing down his judgment on 21 August 2020, Chamberlain J took the opportunity to address three important aspects of such challenges. He reiterated the substantive issues to be considered when deciding whether to uphold an assertion of Public Interest Immunity. He reviewed the recent authorities on the approach to be taken by the court in deciding whether to uphold a Public Interest Immunity claim in the context of the judicial review of a search warrant. And he gave practical guidance on the mechanics of how the substantive judicial review hearing should be conducted where a PII claim has already been upheld and where the material attracting PII is to be considered in a Closed Material Proceeding or CMP ...”

ADDED Wednesday 11th November 2020

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 Wednesday 6th January 2021

R v Luckett (Michael David) [2020] EWCA Crim 565

“This was one of a pair of recent cases, which tend to suggest that police officers and those who aspire to be police officers are still held to a higher standard than the public they are sworn to protect. It was a sentencing appeal following a plea of guilty by a former police officer, who had made use of information gathered in the course of investigating a drink driving offence to get in touch with the defendant and subsequently enter into a long-term personal relationship with her. He resigned from the police and pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office. His appeal against the sentence prompted the Court of Appeal to refer to earlier authorities on sentencing for misconduct in a public office by serving police officers and gave the court an opportunity to emphasise the gravity of the offence, whilst at the same time proving that the quality of mercy is not strained ...”

ADDED Thursday 26th November 2020

R (Mahmood) v Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) [2020] 3 WLR 723

“This was another case on the foreign criminal provisions in the deportation regime. The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) was faced with three conjoined appeals, arising from decisions of the First-tier Tribunal about a range of criminality from child sex offences to immigration and identity fraud to a road rage incident. It prompted a review of the general principles as to when a particular offence or offences will be regarded as having ‘caused serious harm’ for the purposes of those provisions ...”

ADDED Friday 6th November 2020

R (McCourt) v Parole Board for England and Wales [2020] EWHC 2320 (Admin)

“The case was linked a high-profile campaign for a change in the law relating to the release of life prisoners who refuse to reveal the whereabouts of their victims’ remains. This judgment related to judicial review proceedings brought with the aid of crowdfunding by the mother of a murder victim against a Parole Board decision to release the murderer despite his continuing refusal to accept his guilt, more than 30 years after the murder, and his continuing refusal to disclose what had become of his victim. It prompted the Divisional Court to review the authorities on standing to bring a judicial review application and to consider specifically the position of victims and their families regarding decisions of the parole board. The court also had to consider such issues as the extent of the board’s obligation to undertake inquiries, the requirement to detail the board’s reasons and the concept of procedural fairness at Parole Board hearings under the applicable Rules, Code and Guidance.”

ADDED Wednesday 18th November 2020

Re McGuinness (Atttorney General for Northern Ireland intervening) [2020] 3 All ER 827

“This case related to a serving prisoner who, as a member of the Ulster Defence Association, had been guilty of one of the most notorious atrocities during ‘the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, when he had murdered three people and attempted to murder many more at an IRA funeral in Belfast. Having been sentenced to life imprisonment, he was one of those released early under the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement but had then engaged in further terrorist activity and been returned to prison. This case arose from a judicial review brought by the sister of one of his victims, challenging the decision of the Northern Ireland Prison Service that the six years he had spent on release on licence counted towards the calculation of his minimum tariff period, after which he would be eligible for parole. A question arose whether the judgment of the Queen’s Bench Divisional Court of Northern Ireland was given in a criminal cause or matter, resulting in a direct route of appeal to the Supreme Court or whether the appeal was to the Court of Appeal (Civil Division). It prompted the Supreme Court to review the historical development of the appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases and to formulate a clear test of when proceedings in the High Court will be characterised as being ‘in a criminal cause or matter’ ...”

ADDED Wednesday 25th November 2020

Mirchandani v Lord Chancellor [2020] EWCA Civ 1260

“The case was concerned with a private prosecution for fraud offences, which had ultimately resulted in a £20 million confiscation order and £17 million compensation orders. The private prosecutor’s unsuccessful submissions against a third party in proceedings to enforce the confiscation order had led to the unusual spectacle of the Lord Chancellor intervening and persuading a High Court judge to reverse her decision on a jurisdictional question and set aside the order she had previously made. It prompted the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) to conduct a comprehensive review of the primary and secondary legislation and the authorities on private prosecutions, confiscation, costs and the sometimes blurred lines between criminal and civil proceedings ...”

ADDED Tuesday 24th November 2020

R v Mohamadi (Hamid) [2020] EWCA Crim 327

“The case involved a gang rape committed on a 16-year old girl by a group of men from whom she asked directions when she was on the way home by herself in the early hours from a night out. The appellant, who had come to the United Kingdom from Afghanistan only the year before, claimed to have played no part in or to have been present at or even known about the rape. He did, however, say that he had been very drunk on the night in question. The issue on the appeal was whether the trial judge should have directed the jury specifically to consider the possible effect of alcohol on the appellant's state of mind if they concluded, contrary to his evidence, that he had been present as a bystander in the room where the rapes took place. And whether the judge’s failure to give the so-called intoxication direction in those circumstances affected the safety of the conviction ...”

ADDED Thursday 5th November 2020

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

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

R (RD) v Justice Secretary [2020] EWCA Civ 1346

“This was the second of a pair of recent cases which suggest that police officers and those who aspire to be police officers are held to a higher standard than the general public whom the police are sworn to protect. I discussed yesterday R v Luckett (Michael David) [2020] EWCA Crim 565, which illustrated the approach taken by the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal to the sentencing of offences of misconduct in a public office by serving police officers. The case of R (RD) v Justice Secretary addresses the rigorous disclosure requirements imposed on those who apply to become police constables or police cadets. It prompted the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal to consider the application of Article 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights to candidates for the police service - specifically whether the current regime for the rehabilitation of offenders and for the disclosure of convictions, cautions and reprimands is in accordance with law and necessary in a democratic society ...”

ADDED Friday 27th November 2020

Official Receiver v Skeene & Bowers [2020] EWHC 1252 (Ch)

“The case was concerned with alleged Ponzi-style fraud based on a supposedly ethical investment scheme in respect of teak plantations in Brazil. Investors were alleged to have lost around £30 million and the allegations led to both disqualification proceedings against the directors of the company in question and a criminal investigation and prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office. The present judgment related to an application by the Official Receiver to the Bankruptcy Court for permission to supply to the SFO an affidavit and exhibit made by one of the two company directors in opposition to the disqualification proceedings ...”

ADDED Monday 9th November 2020

R (Redston) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2020] EWHC 2962 (Admin)

“The case related to an infamous incident, at the time of the first national lockdown in March and April 2020, when the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser, Mr Dominic Cummings, drove with his family to County Durham and, whilst there, went on a day trip to Barnard Castle. An application for judicial review of the DPP’s failure to make use of an alleged power to refer the case to the police, prompted the Divisional Court to analyse the position of the Crown Prosecution Service as an independent public prosecution body and its relationship with the police. The Court also considered the duty of public bodies to act independently and transparently and the requirement placed on them by section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 not to act incompatibly with Convention rights.”

ADDED Monday 11th January 2021

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

R v RN [2020] EWCA Crim 937

“This was a shaken baby prosecution in which the court had to consider the circumstances in which a jury may be asked to confirm that the verdict delivered by their foreman in open court does accurately record the outcome of their deliberations. It emphasised once again the central importance of the part played by the jury in Crown Court proceedings and the extent to which they are depended on to understand and follow the judge’s directions …”

ADDED Friday 30th October 2020

R (Roberts) v Leicester Crown Court [2020] EWHC 1783 (Admin)

“This was a case about a burglary in student accommodation. It gave rise to a trial in the magistrates court resulting in conviction, an unsuccessful appeal to the Crown Court, a refusal by the Crown Court to state a case and then an application for judicial review of that refusal to state a case. The Administrative Court had to consider the law on a number of discrete issues, including hearsay evidence where a witness is overseas; the potential admissibility of pre-trial case management forms; the recusal of a judge for bias; the circumstances in which a court can properly refuse to state a case; and whether, where there has been a wrongful refusal, the matter has to be remitted for a case to be stated or can instead be dealt with by way of judicial review ...”

ADDED Tuesday 3rd November 2020

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

R v Roth (Boruch) [2020] 4 WLR 130

“The case was concerned with the approach to be taken in confiscation proceedings following a conviction for failing to comply with the requirements of a planning enforcement notice. The result can be contrasted with that in an earlier confiscation case, R v Panayi (Andrew) [2019] 4 WLR 85, which was the subject of a video case review in our ‘Top 50 Cases of 2019’ and is available to view on the website. The court in this case also had to consider the sentencing powers of the Crown Court where a case is committed to it under section 70 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for consideration of a confiscation order ...”

ADDED Thursday 29th October 2020

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

R v Smith (Alec) [2020] 4 WLR 128

“The case was concerned with a historic sex allegation and involved multiple hearsay about a supposed confession by the alleged perpetrator when confronted with the allegation nearly half a century beforehand. The contentious evidence was adduced before the jury despite the prosecution having served no hearsay notice and the arguments on the appeal prompted the court to consider not only the operation of the multiple hearsay provisions but also to emphasise the importance of compliance with the Criminal Procedure Rules in relation to hearsay evidence, in order to ensure properly considered and articulated submissions and a structured decision on what can be complex and, in the words of the Court of Appeal, ‘tricky’ questions of procedure or evidence …”

ADDED Monday 23rd November 2020

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

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Suffolk County Council [2020] 3 WLR 742

“This appeal was concerned with the intersection between immigration and asylum cases and family court proceedings, in particular, in relation to the assessment of risk that an individual may be subject to the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation. The case had been referred to the President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, to consider two important points of principle, namely: whether a family court judge had jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief against the Home Secretary, constraining the exercise of her powers of immigration control; and whether a finding by the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal in the context of an asylum application constrains the approach of the family court on a subsequent application for a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order. The Home Secretary was successful on the first point but aggrieved by Sir Andrew’s ruling on the second point and appealed to the Court of Appeal Civil Division …”

ADDED Thursday 19th November 2020

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

R v Wangige (Joseph Karumba) [2020] EWCA Crim 1319

“This was a truly tragic case involving a hit and run collision in the early hours of the night, as a result of which the pedestrian sustained catastrophic injuries, which ultimately proved to be fatal. It resulted in two successive criminal prosecutions of the same defendant, in the first of which he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for relatively minor offences and in the second of which the CPS sought to bring a much more serious charge, relating directly to the death of the victim. It prompted the Court of Appeal to review the authorities on the doctrine which, in the absence of special circumstances, precludes a subsequent prosecution based on substantially the same facts as resulted in a prior conviction ...”

ADDED Friday 20th November 2020

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 1983 and 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