In a case concerning proceedings for breach of planning enforcement notices, the court quashed the magistrates’ court’s committal to the Crown Court for sentencing and confiscation proceedings where indications of the defendants’ guilty pleas had been given by their barrister. Guilty pleas in the magistrates’ court had to be indicated or entered by defendants personally.
ABSENCE OF JURISDICTION
An application for a writ of habeas corpus by a prisoner who had been sentenced to imprisonment for public protection when his offence pre-dated the coming into force of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 failed. The sentencing judge had had competent jurisdiction to direct both imprisonment and a minimum term. Her order could not, therefore, be ignored as a suspected nullity; it had to be obeyed unless and until it was set aside on appeal.
Despite a substantial delay in applying for judicial review, it was in the public interest to quash a court’s decision purporting to lift a sexual offender’s notification requirements. The court lacked power to make that order, and the grant of relief upheld the rule of law and ensured that all applications to life notification requirements were dealt with under the same procedure.
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) judicially reviewed and quashed the unlawful committal for sentence of a defendant by a magistrates’ court in respect of a charge of driving whilst disqualified, and re-sentenced him, by reconstituting itself as a Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division and one of its members as a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) respectively.