A district judge had been correct to refuse to order the Crown to disclose a sample of blood taken from a motorist who had been arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis. The motorist had declined to take the sample when it was offered to him in compliance with the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 s.15(5) and his application had been a fishing expedition made in the hope that it might undermine the prosecution’s case.
Application of the “multiple conviction rule” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 art.2A(3)(c) and the Police Act 1997 s.113A and s.113B, requiring disclosure of spent convictions, resulted in an interference with ECHR art.8 which was neither in accordance with the law nor necessary in a democratic society.
The court prohibited the use, by the subject of a search warrant or his lawyers, of redacted material which had been improperly disclosed to those lawyers by a police commissioner who had failed to obtain the prior approval of the National Crime Agency. The material was not to be used in judicial review proceedings brought by way of challenge to the warrant, but was to be returned to its owner. Any copies, including electronic copies, were to be destroyed.
A university’s decision to exclude a student from a pharmacy degree course on the basis of non-disclosure of criminal convictions received as a juvenile was quashed. The university’s fitness to practise panel’s failure to take into account the student’s considerable mitigation meant that it had not struck a fair balance between his rights and the protection of the public.
The Supreme Court considered the extent to which closed material could be taken into account by magistrates when issuing search and seizure warrants under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.8; by the Crown Court when asked to authorise the retention of seized material under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 s.59; and by the High Court on an application for judicial review of the legality of either of the foregoing decisions.