The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had no standing to seek a declaration that abortion law in Northern Ireland was incompatible with ECHR art.3 and art.8 because it had not instituted proceedings by identifying any unlawful act or any actual or potential victim. Although the Supreme Court therefore had no jurisdiction to make a declaration of incompatibility, it considered that the current law was disproportionate and incompatible with art.8 insofar as it prohibited abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and where pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
There was nothing to prevent the making of an order for forfeiture of goods under the Trade Marks Act 1994 s.97(3) even where there had been no criminal conviction, as long as the court was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a relevant offence had been committed.
The magistrates’ court did not have jurisdiction to try a defendant in circumstances where he was first charged with an indictable offence more than six months after the alleged offence and the charge was later amended to a summary-only offence. To do so would be in breach of the time limit on the commencement of a prosecution for a summary offence laid down in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.127.
Although the default term of imprisonment imposed in respect of a confiscation order did not stand alone and was closely linked to the confiscation order, they were distinct orders and the Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to hear a prosecution appeal against the default term.
An application for a writ of venire de novo could not be brought as a freestanding application. It had to be made in the course of an application for leave to appeal against conviction and was subject to the leave provisions in the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.1 and associated time limits.