Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Stop and Search ~ CJPOA 1994 section 60

Updated 17th December

On Thursday 17th December, the Supreme Court will hand down judgment in R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and another

The issue in the case is - Do stop and search powers under s.60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 contain sufficient safeguards for the powers to be "in accordance with the law" for the purposes of arts.5 and 8 ECHR?

The appellant, a 38 year old black woman, was stopped by a bus inspector for failing to pay for her journey, and subsequently stopped and searched in the street by a police constable. Her bag was also searched. This took place in an area where a s.60 authorisation was in force (allowing for stop and search without any grounds for suspicion on the part of individual police officers).

As the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) noted
- [2014] EWCA Civ 69 - Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was designed to provide police officers with additional powers to stop and search persons and vehicles for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments. Its unusual feature is that an officer exercising the power need not have grounds for suspecting that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or articles of that kind. On this appeal, Ann Juliette Roberts is seeking to establish that section 60 offends Article 5 and/or Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The Court of Appeal ruled that section 60 was "in accordance with the law" for convention purposes.

Update:  The Supreme Court ruled that section 60 is in accordance with the law.  For the judgment see Supreme Court 17th December 2015.

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