Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Joint enterprise in criminal law ~ Jogee and Ruddock cases

UPDATE:  Judgment in Jogee and Ruddock cases will be handed down on Thursday 18th February.  See UK Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Original post:

Today the UK Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson, Lord Thomas) begin to hear the cases of Jogee and Ruddock - previous post 14th October 2015

A useful video by the Committee for the Reform of Joint Enterprise explains the problems with the use of joint enterprise to secure convictions - Joint enterprise: the case for reform

Convictions under this concept are often for murder but joint enterprise applies generally throughout criminal law.  Where an individual is convicted of murder the mandatory life sentence will apply.

The Independent 24th October has drawn attention to legally inaccurate letters being sent to some individuals warning them of the possibility of conviction under joint enterprise - Police send letters warning people could be sent to prison 'for being present when a serious crime is committed

The proceedings in the UK Supreme Court may be viewed via the Supreme Court website

The government has resisted calls for statutory reform.  In February 2015, following critical reports by the House of Commons Justice Committee, Mr Chris Grayling (then Secretary of State for Justice) rejected calls for reform - Bureau of Investigative Journalism 5th February.   His predecessor Mr Kenneth Clarke was of similar mind citing the need to "tackle gangs" as the reason for refusing to act.

The Justice Committee reported in early 2012 .  In late 2014, the Justice Committee issued a follow up report to their 2012 report and called upon the Law Commission to review the law.

Previous Post - Forthcoming important cases 14th October 2015


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