Saturday, 31 October 2015

Catching up ..... !

Supreme Court UK LIbrary
A little bit of catching up ........

a) From 27th to 29th October, the Supreme Court heard the joint enterprise case of R v Jogee.  The proceedings may be viewed via the Supreme Court website.  Previous post.   The joint enterprise doctrine* (an aspect of accessorial criminal liability) is particularly problematic and it was claimed in court that the law took a wrong turning with the decision in Chan Wing-Siu v The Queen [1984] UKPC 27.  The present state of the law was described by Felicity Gerry QC (counsel for Jogee) as "a dog's breakfast."  Miss Gerry invited the court to re-express the law in terms of requiring knowledge of the essential elements of the offence committed by the principal (or the type of offence) together with acts that demonstrate an intent to assist or encourage that offence (or type of offence). 

b) On 4th November, the Supreme Court will hand down judgment in the £85 parking overstay charge case of Parking Eye Ltd v BeavisPrevious post.

c) Former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve QC has said that the Prime Minister should not have changed the Ministerial Code - The Guardian 28th OctoberPrevious post.

d) The prime minister’s policy of ordering
targeted drone killings overseas outside designated war zones is to be scrutinised in the first inquiry launched by the new chair of parliament’s human rights committee.  See the Committee's announcement and The Guardian 29th October.   Previous post.

e) The family of Mark Duggan (killed in 2011) have been granted permission to appeal against a high court decision that the jury at the inquest into his death were right to rule that he was lawfully killed.   The Guardian 27th OctoberPrevious post.

f) The Da Silva case remains before the European Court of Human Rights.  The Grand Chamber heard argument in June but judgment is awaited.  This case arises from the shooting in 2005 of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Station, London.  Previous post.   

g) The Ministry of Justice commercial arm - Just Solutions International - is to be examined by the National Audit Office. The Guardian 26th OctoberPrevious post.

h) The Lord Chief Justice (Lord Thomas) has spoken about The Law of Wales: Looking forward.  Read the speech via the Judiciary website.

i) Sir John Chilcot (Chairman of the long-running Iraq Inquiry) has written to the Prime Minister indicating that the Inquiry will be able to send its report to government by around April / May 2016.   See the Iraq Inquiry website for more detailsPrevious post.  The report is said to exceed 2 million words and yet it is claimed in the exchange of letters between Sir John and the Prime Minister that "national security checking" can be achieved within about 2 weeks.  [Such checking of the Saville Report (issued June 2010) was achieved in about 2 weeks].

* Joint enterprise or Parasitic Accessorial Liability.  The Supreme Court adopted the latter term in Gnango [2011] UKSC 59 describing it as "not the most elegant phraseology" but "a convenient shorthand."  (See para 15 of the Gnango judgment).


  1. Joint Enterprise - the doctrine under which two of the men who attacked Stephen Lawrence - neither of whom wielded the knife - are now in prison. I find no difficulty in the idea that if you mix your lot with that of other criminals it is neither here nor there which of you does what.

  2. Exactly! It should be of no interest to a court whether the defendant actually did whatever they stand accused of, just so long as they hung around with the kind of people who would.

    1. Presumably therefore, Anonymous 1 November 2015 at 14:02, if your teenage son or daughter 'hung around' with the wrong crowd, one of whom was convicted of murder, you will be content to see them detained at her majesty's pleasure, minimum 12 years?

  3. Irony does not travel well on the Internet :(