The court interpreted condition 4, set out in the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 s.1(6), which allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to issue a certificate directing that a trial should be conducted without a jury if he suspected that an offence had been committed as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility of one person or group of persons towards another person or group of persons. The condition could be relied upon in respect of a member of the armed forces who shot a person whom he suspected of being a member of the IRA.
RIGHT TO FAIR TRIAL
Two requested persons were unable to establish substantial grounds for believing that, if extradited to Poland, they would face a real risk of their ECHR art.6 rights being breached. They were ordinary criminal defendants whose cases involved no political considerations and, despite the existence of concerns about the independence of the Polish judiciary, there was nothing to suggest that standards of justice for such defendants were affected.
A magistrates’ court’s decision to fix a trial date at which the prosecution expert could attend but the defence expert, whose report had been served in good time, could not was unfair. It was an exceptional case where the High Court should intervene at the pre-trial stage.
A requested person had been deliberately absent from his trial, within the meaning of the Extradition Act 2003 s.20(3), where his failure to notify authorities of his change in address had resulted in his being unaware that a change in Polish law meant that a trial could now proceed in his absence. His deliberate conduct was akin to a waiver of the right to attend his trial and meant that the trial in absentia had not breached ECHR art.6.
The Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.133(1ZA), which provided that compensation for a miscarriage of justice would only be payable if the evidence that had led to the quashing of the conviction demonstrated the applicant’s innocence beyond reasonable doubt, was not incompatible with ECHR art.6(2).