The Supreme Court determined the extent to which the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) had power to review and alter a custodial sentence imposed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission for contempt of court. Where the Court of Appeal concluded that the sentence had been reached on a flawed basis, that did not make it necessarily wrong, but it had to ensure that a de novo assessment occurred. It could perform the assessment itself; it did not have to remit the case to the sentencing court unless a fresh investigation of new facts was required.

The correct route of appeal against both conviction and sentence for contempt of a magistrates’ court was via the Crown Court under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 s.12(5).

The Court of Appeal clarified the appropriate routes of appeal following an order made by a judge in a civil court on an application to commit.