In its ordinary and natural meaning, “proceedings in a criminal cause or matter” in the Justice and Security Act 2013 s.6(11) included proceedings by way of judicial review of a decision made in a criminal cause, and nothing in the context or purpose of the legislation suggested a different meaning.
A magistrates’ court which purported to exercise its power under the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.142 to reverse a previous decision to admit bad character evidence had erred because that section was only available in the case of an offender and not where a person was charged with an offence. The Administrative Court had jurisdiction to deal with such a matter while criminal proceedings were ongoing, but the instant decision should not be taken as encouragement to challenge interlocutory decisions in criminal proceedings by judicial review.
Mistake of material fact leading to unfairness could be available as a ground of judicial review in respect of the determination of applications to adjourn trials in magistrates’ courts.
A decision of the Department of Justice and Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland revoking a prisoner’s release on licence was not vitiated by irrationality where the recall to prison was plainly within the range of reasonable responses open to the official making that decision. The Department considered that the prisoner’s refusal to comply with electronic tagging requirements meant that the risk of his causing harm to the public had increased significantly, so that the test under the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 art.28(2)(b) had been met.
The court had jurisdiction to make a declaration on a closed material application under the Justice and Security Act 2013 s.6 in judicial review proceedings challenging a decision not to prosecute. Although the case was not an appeal “in” criminal proceedings, since its outcome would not decide criminal liability, the words “criminal cause or matter” in s.6(11) were to be interpreted broadly.