JURISDICTION

Magistrates’ courts did not have a discretion to extend the time to state a case after expiration of the 21 days specified in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.111(2).

[2017] EWHC 2869 (Admin)

As a Crown Court decision to remand a defendant in custody pending a sentence hearing was a matter relating to trial on indictment, the High Court’s jurisdiction to consider an application for permission to apply for judicial review of the decision was excluded by the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.29(3).

[2017] EWHC 2706 (Admin)

Where police officers made approaches to recruit as an informant an individual who had been involved in criminal activity and whose personal circumstances made it likely that he had access to information capable of assisting in the prevention of terrorism, those approaches came within the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 s.65. However, the proper forum for a complaint against the Chief Constable was the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, not the court. Where such approaches were made publicly, they might be contrary to the public interest and in breach of Convention obligations regarding the individual’s safety.

[2017] NICA 54

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) Act (c.18) s.48(2) was in violation of the Constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979 Sch.1 para.8 in so far as it precluded an extension of time for appeals against the death sentence. The words “Except in the case of a conviction involving sentence of death” in s.48(2) should be treated as deleted.

[2017] UKPC 18

The court gave guidance on the procedural requirements for making an application to reopen a criminal appeal based on the implicit jurisdiction identified in R. v Yasain (Mohammed Abdullah) [2015] EWCA Crim 1277. The procedure was to be followed until the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee addressed the matter by formulating a rule similar to that set out in CPR r.52.17.

[2017] EWCA Crim 742

The court set out the correct law in relation to the application of the slip rule under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.155. After imposing a sentence on the basis of a factual error, a judge had been entitled to increase the sentence under the slip rule despite initially indicating that he would not do so. An indication by the Attorney General that he intended to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient was a relevant consideration.

[2017] EWCA Crim 226

The Court of Appeal did not have the power to certify a point of law of general public importance under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.33(2) when leave to appeal had been refused. The phrase “decision of the Court of Appeal on appeal” in s.33 clearly referred to the determination of an appeal which had been pursued with leave and determined on its merits.

[2017] EWCA Crim 59

A known figure in the world of online fitness advice could not rely on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to restrain unauthorised use of her name and photographs on another person’s fitness website and on social media. It was a case of identity fraud and belonged in the Chancery Division.

The Crown Court did not have jurisdiction to impose a sentence in relation to a summary offence where the defendant had not elected for trial and the main offence had been withdrawn before being included on the indictment. The Crown Court judge should have determined the case as a judge of the magistrates’ court.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2239

The Supreme Court clarified the effect of procedural errors on the validity of confiscation proceedings. A procedural error would not deprive the court of jurisdiction, but raised the possibility that it might be unfair to make the confiscation order.

[2016] UKSC 65

A judge had been correct to find that an offence committed in the Slovak Republic would have extra-territorial effect in the UK and therefore that it amounted to an extradition offence for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 s.64(4).

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to re-open six appeals against conviction arising out of the Supreme Court’s judgment in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 which clarified the law on accessory liability. Putting the law right did not render all convictions invalid which had been arrived at over many years by faithfully applying the law as had been laid down in previous authorities. The appropriate recourse was for the defendants to refer their cases to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

[2016] NICA 40

A Crown Court jury had no jurisdiction to consider the summary offence of resisting a police constable when it was included in an indictment with an indictable offence. Resisting a police constable was not listed in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.40(3) as an offence for which that route could be taken.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1405

The court did not have jurisdiction to order an oral hearing to reconsider the refusal of an application for permission to seek judicial review of decision made in criminal proceedings where the claim had been recorded as being totally without merit.

[2016] EWHC 1760 (Admin)

In considering the mens rea of the offence of making an indecent image of a child contrary to the Protection of Children Act 1978 s.1(1)(a), a distinction had to be drawn between cases where images were made by downloading to a phone or computer and those where the image was made by the more direct action of photographing or filming. In cases of photographing or filming, the s.1(1)(a) offence was made out by the deliberate act of photographing or filming without the need for knowledge that the image was or was likely to be of an underage child.

[2016] EWCA Crim 745

A Crown Court had acted without jurisdiction by making a supervision order without the proposed supervising officer’s consent, as required by the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 Sch.1A Pt 2 para.2.

[2016] EWHC 1389 (Admin)

A district judge had correctly declined to determine a motorist’s application for a stay of prosecution in relation to his failure to pay excess parking charges where the application was made on the basis of the second limb of R. v Beckford (Ian Anthony) [1996] 1 Cr. App. R. 94. In any event, the motorist had failed to establish any grounds which would have entitled the judge to stay his prosecution as an abuse of process.

[2016] EWHC 1410 (Admin)

On an appeal under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 s.288AA, the Supreme Court upheld a decision of the High Court of Justiciary that the Lord Advocate’s failure to disclose material evidence to the defendant in a criminal trial did not infringe ECHR art.6. The High Court had applied the two-stage test in McInnes (Paul) v HM Advocate [2010] UKSC 7, 2010 S.C. (U.K.S.C.) 28, and the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction did not extend to determining whether it had applied it correctly.

[2015] UKSC 77

The applicant’s conviction for failing to surrender at his trial for sexual offences had to be quashed. He had been convicted after being extradited from Spain, but the European arrest warrant did not mention the offence of failing to surrender, with the result that the court lacked jurisdiction to deal with him for that offence.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2289

Where a conviction was declared a nullity because of a failure to obtain the required consent from the Attorney General before sending the case to the Crown Court for trial, a writ of venire facias de novo juratores from the Court of Appeal was not a valid procedure by which the Crown Court could acquire jurisdiction for a new trial.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1663

A magistrates’ court had erred by dismissing a charge of criminal damage for failure to comply with the time limit in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.127. The time limit did not apply to the offence as it was triable either way. Further, a charge could only be dismissed after hearing evidence, where the prosecution offered no evidence, was unable to proceed, or did not appear. Accordingly, a subsequent magistrates’ court had erred in refusing to allow the prosecution to proceed.

A magistrates’ court had no jurisdiction and had acted contrary to the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.9(2) when dismissing a charge of threatening behaviour against an individual without giving the Crown an opportunity to call any evidence or to consult with the victim. It followed that there had been no lawful acquittal, and that a restraining order imposed on acquittal was also unlawful.

An application to reopen a refusal of permission to appeal against an extradition order was dismissed where the appellant had not given notice of appeal before the seven-day period permitted by the Extradition Act 2003 s.26(4) and had not demonstrated that he had done everything reasonably possible to ensure that notice had been given as soon as it could have been pursuant s.26(5). The court could not overlook the delay and, in any event, the underlying appeal had no merit.

[2015] EWHC 3521 (Admin)

For the purposes of imposing a notification order, a person had committed a “corresponding foreign offence” under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 if he had committed the relevant offence in the UK but it had resulted in a conviction in a foreign court.

[2015] EWHC 2354 (Admin)

The Court of Appeal Criminal Division had power to re-open an appeal to correct an error that had led to the quashing of a sentence lawfully imposed in the Crown Court. It would be appropriate for the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee to formulate a rule similar to CPR r.52.17, the rule embodying the Civil Division’s equivalent power.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1277

The mere fact that the Privy Council was seized of a criminal case while hearing an appeal against conviction or sentence did not give it jurisdiction to order commutation of a lawfully passed death sentence on the ground that it would be unconstitutional for that sentence to be carried out. It was not morally unacceptable for the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to provide different avenues for appealing against unlawful sentences and for obtaining relief, on constitutional grounds, from the execution of lawfully imposed sentences.

[2015] UKPC 33

It was appropriate to reduce the amount payable under confiscation orders which had been imposed on a married couple who had been convicted of offences relating to the dishonest claiming of benefits. The orders should be re-assessed on the basis of the Social Security (Payments on account, Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 1988, in which the calculation of the recoverable amount was based on the difference between the amount of benefits the claimant actually received and the amount he would have received were it not for the overpayment.

[2015] NICA 31

An individual failed to show that his detention for offences of affray and wounding had breached his rights under ECHR art.5. The Crown Court had clearly had jurisdiction to pass the sentence it had imposed, and he had been unable to demonstrate that the court had sentenced in a way that involved a gross and obvious irregularity, that it had failed to observe a statutory condition precedent, or that it had acted in a way that was arbitrary.

[2015] EWHC 1477 (QB)

A district judge had failed to appreciate when deciding to retain jurisdiction to prosecute a young offender in the youth court for child sex offences that an amendment to the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.3B introduced by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 s.53 was not in force when he made his decision.

[2015] EWHC 1455 (Admin)

By virtue of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.298(4), the magistrates’ court had no power to release cash detained under s.295 which was subject to a forfeiture application until the court had determined that application.

By virtue of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.29(3), the Divisional Court had no jurisdiction to consider an application by the CPS for judicial review of a Crown Court’s refusal to make a confiscation order because such an issue related to trial on indictment.

The implementation of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2014 had the effect of revoking the Crown Court Rules 1982 insofar as they related to criminal matters and the award of costs in criminal cases in the Crown Courts and magistrates’ courts. However, the 1982 Rules continued to govern aspects of civil cases in those courts.

[2015] EWHC 723 (Admin)

Where a judge had sentenced an offender for drug offences after postponing confiscation proceedings and, despite the prohibition on doing so in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.15(2), had made a forfeiture order, the court was not deprived of jurisdiction to make a later confiscation order in the postponed proceedings. The fact that the drugs had been seized did not mean that the appellant had not received any benefit for the purposes of confiscation proceedings.

[2015] EWCA Crim 385

It was not open to a Crown Court judge on an application under Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 s.59 to decide that a warrant issued by another Crown Court judge was unlawful: the only route to challenge whether a warrant was lawful was by way of judicial review. It had not been shown that the searches and seizures went beyond the purpose for which the warrants were issued, and in any event a breach of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.16(8) would not necessarily render the entirety of the entry, search and seizure under a warrant unlawful.

[2014] EWHC 4096 (Admin)

The existing law under the ECHR that only a “grossly disproportionate” prison sentence would violate art.3 of the Convention was not changed by the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Vinter v United Kingdom (66069/09) 34 B.H.R.C. 605. That case merely served to clarify the Convention law on art.3 and life sentences. Nor did the decision of the ECtHR in Trabelsi v Belgium (140/10) advance the principles laid down in Vinter, save to apply them in the extradition context.

[2014] EWHC 3609 (Admin)

A trial judge’s order under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 s.11 to protect sensitive information heard in camera in a murder trial, which had been made on national security grounds, would not be varied to enable the defendant to present a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights based on an alleged breach of his right to a fair trial.

[2014] EWHC 3558 (Admin)

The High Court had no jurisdiction to extend the time in which a non-British national who was the subject of an extradition order under the Extradition Act 2003 Pt 1 could appeal, following a failure to comply with the strict time limits imposed under s.26(4) of the Act.

[2014] EWHC 3433 (Admin)

The High Court did not have jurisdiction to determine an appeal from a costs order made by a district judge under the Extradition Act 2003 s.60(1), where a person had challenged the order as a part of an unsuccessful appeal against the imposition of an extradition order. However, the High Court did have jurisdiction to vary or quash a costs order imposed under s.60(1) where the extradition order had been successfully appealed under s.26 and s.27.

[2014] EWHC 3238 (Admin)

Where an individual had permitted the receipt of £715,000, being criminal property obtained by fraud, from the United Kingdom into his Spanish bank account, and then allowed the subsequent withdrawal of that money, the Crown Court had had jurisdiction to try him for converting criminal property, contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.327(1)(c), both by reference to the statute and because the significant part of the criminality underlying the case had taken place in England.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1680

The power under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.35 to remand an accused to hospital for a report on his mental condition could not be used to enable the Crown to obtain evidence about whether the accused had the intention, or the capacity to form the intention, to commit an offence of grievous bodily harm. The Divisional Court quashed a s.35 order made by the Crown Court, even though the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.29(3) excluded High Court jurisdiction, because the misinterpretation of s.35 was a defect so severe that it deprived the Crown Court of jurisdiction to make the order.

A judge did not have jurisdiction to order the CPS to pay an accused person’s costs under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19 following a failed prosecution; that provision could not be used as a means of impugning the prosecutorial discretion given to the DPP and other state prosecutors by imposing costs on them. It was not the judge’s role to discipline the DPP for what he considered was an aberrant exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

[2014] EWHC 2014 (Admin)

The use of the word “generally” in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 s.34(5) did not give the courts any wider discretion than under the statute’s predecessor, the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954 s.1(1), when imposing disqualification orders in respect of the owning, keeping, control or influence over animals.

[2015] EWHC 4875 (Admin)

The Crown Court had the power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6, as applied by s.28, to make a confiscation order against a person who had absconded before his conviction.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1173

A judge had not misdirected a murder trial jury in relation to issues of witness evidence, provocation and character and the conviction was safe. However, the Privy Council exercised its jurisdiction to commute the death penalty sentence to one of life imprisonment.

[2014] UKPC 7

The English High Court did not have exclusive jurisdiction to hear an application for judicial review, by a restricted transfer prisoner who had been transferred to Northern Ireland from England, challenging a decision of the Secretary of State for Justice of England and Wales not to seek advice from the Parole Board as to his suitability for open conditions. The secretary of state’s office was indivisible and present throughout each part of the UK so that she had to be considered to be domiciled in Northern Ireland, and accordingly the High Court of Northern Ireland also had jurisdiction in relation to the issues raised in the judicial review claim.

[2014] NICA 23

A judge had been wrong to commit a child for trial in the Crown Court for a sexual offence because, bearing in mind the child’s previous good character and the fact that he was 11 years’ old at the time of the offence, there was no real prospect that the Crown Court would exercise its powers under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.91 to impose a custodial sentence.

[2014] EWHC 1833 (Admin)

A youth court’s decision to commit a 14-year-old for trial in the Crown Court was contrary to the relevant sentencing guidelines and to authority and was quashed as irrational and wrong.

The Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland did not have jurisdiction to hear a purported appeal under the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act 1980 against the lifting of reporting restrictions following a young offender’s conviction for serious sexual offences as the order had not been made on conviction as was required by s.8. The interim reporting restriction order had been made shortly before the giving of sentence.

[2014] NICA 5

A district judge had jurisdiction under the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 art.16 to conduct a preliminary inquiry into an offence which had occurred in a different county court division because the defendant, who was before the court pursuant to remand obligations in respect of a separate offence, could properly be regarded as “within the county court division” for the purposes of art.16(1).

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[2014] NIQB 2

Although the Courts Act 2003 s.66 provided a circuit judge of the Crown Court with a power to sit as a district judge of the magistrates’ court, it did not confer on that judge a power to hear a prosecution based upon an information brought outside the time limits specified by the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.127.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2423