Friday, 15 January 2016

Court of Appeal on 13/01/16

On Wednesday our Criminal team tackled a complex application for leave to appeal against conviction, in the Court of Appeal. We were in the grand surroundings of Court 6 in the Royal Courts of Justice, the beauty of which somewhat mitigated the several hours we spent waiting for our case to be called on! During that waiting time we reviewed the papers, refined our argument, and got the measure of the three Judges who would be considering our case. The appellant, Mr D, attended court to hear his case.

The case was finally called on just after lunch, and Solicitor Advocate Mr Myrie began his submissions on what appears to be an area of law without precedent: the interaction between the law on possession of firearms (which is strict liability, requiring no knowledge of the existence of the firearm) and the law of joint enterprise, which requires the accomplice or secondary party to have at least some knowledge of the offence to be committed. He dealt calmly with a barrage of questions from the bench while maintaining a strong focus on the central legal submissions.

The bench then retired for what seemed like a very long time, before returning to give judgment. Unfortunately, in part due to the lengthy time delay in bringing proceedings, permission to appeal was refused.

We continue to consider the case and may, if appropriate, refer the matter to the CCRC. We believe that as the point of law appears to be without precedent, it may deserve consideration by the full Court of Appeal, which could then make a definitive statement on the law as it relates to cases such as this.


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