Ibrahim -v- The King; PC 6 Mar 1914

References: [1914] UKPC 1, [1914] AC 599
Links: Bailii, PC
Coram: The Lord Chancellor Lord Moulton, Lord Atkinson Lord Sumner, Lord Shaw, Delivered by Lord Sumner
(Hong Kong) The defendant was an Afghan subject with the British Army in Hong Kong. He was accused of murder. Having accepted the protection of the British Armed forces, he became subject to their laws. In custody, he was asked about the offence by a senior officer, and admitted the act. He appealed on the basis that the admission was not voluntary, having being made to an officer with authority over him, and should not have been admitted.
Held: The committee was not inclined to enunciate a general rule for admissibility of evidence in such circumstances, this is a matter for the Court of Criminal Appeal. It could only say that any defect must be such as to deprive the accused of a fair trial, before a decision could be set aside. The appellate court should ask whether the summing up contains ‘Something which . . deprives the accused of the substance of fair trial and the protection of the law, or which, in general, tends to divert the due and orderly administration of the law into a new course, which may be drawn into an evil precedent in future.’ and
‘It has long been established as a positive rule of English criminal law, that no statement by an accused is admissible in evidence against him unless it is shewn by the prosecution to have been a voluntary statement, in the sense that it has not been obtained from him either by fear of prejudice or hope of advantage exercised or held out by a person in authority. The principle is as old as Lord Hale.’
Statutes: Foreign Jurisdiction Act 1890 4(1)
This case cites:

  • Cited – Rex -v- Thornton ((1824) 1 R & MCCR 27)
    . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Wilde ((1835) 1 R & MCCR 452)
    . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Kerr ((1837) 8 C & P 176)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Baldry ((1852) 2 Den CC Res 430)
    It is not that the law presumes a confession obtained by duress or by promise to be untrue, but from the danger of receiving such evidence judges have thought it better to reject it for the due administration of justice. . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Thompson ((1893) 2 QB 12)
    No statement by an accused is admissible in evidence against him unless it is shown by the prosecution to have been a voluntary statement, in the sense that it has not been obtained from him either by fear of prejudice or hope of advantage exercised . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Baldry (2 Den CC 430)
    (Year?) ‘by the law of England, in order to render a confession admissible in evidence, it must be perfectly voluntary and there is no doubt that any inducement in the nature of a promise or of a threat held out by a person in authority vitiates a . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Brackenbury ((1893) 17 Cox 628)
    . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Cheverton ((1848) 2 F and F 833)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Pettit ((1850) 4 Cox 164)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Berriman ((1854) 6 Cox 388)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Reason ((1872) 12 Cox 228)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Fennell ((1880) LR 7 QBD 150)
    . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Gavin ((1888) (15 Cox 656))
    The court excluded a statement made to a constable, who questioned his prisoner in a way that amounted to cross-examination. A constable has no right to ask questions without expressly saying that the answers cannot be relevant evidence. . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Male ((1893) 17 Cox 689)
    The court rejected a statement made by a prisoner in custody to a constable who had cross-examined him, saying merely that the police have no right to manufacture evidence. . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Goddard ((1896) 60 JP 491)
    The court admitted a statement made by a prisoner in custody to a constable who had cross-examined him. . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Histed ((1898) 19 Cox 16)
    The court excluded the answers of a prisoner in custody, on the authority of R. v. Gavin, saying that the constable was entrapping the prisoner and trying by a trick to set a broken-down case on its legs again. . .
  • Cited – Rogers -v- Hawken QBD ([1894] 67 LJ QB 526)
    (Year unknown) In a case of the admissibility of questions put before arrest, the Divisional Court, (judges not prone to lean against a prisoner)
    Held: The statement was admissible and observed that ‘R. v. Male must not be taken as laying down . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Best CCA ((1909) 1 KBD 692)
    Referring to the admissibility of answers to questions put before an arrest, ‘it is quite impossible to say that the fact that a question of this kind has been asked invalidates the trial’. . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Knight and Thayre ((1905) 20 Cox 711)
    Statements were rejected, because they had been obtained from the accused before arrest by means of a long interrogation by a person in authority over him. The court adverted thus to the case of questions put by a constable after arresting:- ‘when . .
  • Cited – Riel’s Case, ubi supra; ex parte Deeming PC ((1892) AC 422)
    The Board (PC) has repeatedly treated applications for leave to appeal and the hearing of criminal appeals as being upon the same footing. . .
  • Cited – Ex parte Macrea PC ((1893) AC 346)
    The Board cannot give leave to appeal where the grounds suggested could not sustain the appeal itself; nor can it allow an appeal on grounds that would not have sufficed for the grant of permission to bring it. Misdirection, as such, even . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Booth and Jones ((1910) 5 Criminal Appeal Reports 179)
    Channell J said: ‘the moment you have decided to charge him and practically got him into custody, then, inasmuch as a judge even cannot ask a question or a magistrate, it is ridiculous to suppose that a policeman can. But there is no actual . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Dyson CCA ((1908) 2 KB 454)
    The court adopted the practice for selecting cases for which leave to appeal should be given which was set down in Makin . .
  • Cited – Makin -v- Attorney-General for New South Wales PC ([1894] AC 57, Bailii, [1893] UKPC 56)
    The court expounded the principles on which a Court of Criminal Appeal should act, and construed the New South Wales Act, which in defining a strictly appellate jurisdiction in criminal matters, provided ‘that no conviction or judgment thereon shall . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Norton ((1910) 2 KB 501)
    Where the trial judge has warned the jury not to act upon the objectionable evidence, the Court of Criminal Appeal under the similar words of the Act, may refuse to interfere, if it thinks that the jury, giving heed to that warning, would have . .
  • Cited – Rex -v- Fisher ([1910] 1 KB 149)
    Where objectionable evidence has been left for the consideration of the jury without any warning to disregard it, the Court of Criminal Appeal quashes the conviction, if it thinks that the jury may have been influenced by it, even though without it . .

This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Regina -v- Derek William Bentley (Deceased) CACD (Times 31-Jul-98, Bailii, [1998] EWCA Crim 2516, (2001) 1 Cr App R 307)
    The defendant had been convicted of murder in 1952, and hung. A court hearing an appeal after many years must apply laws from different eras to different aspects. The law of the offence (of murder) to be applied was that at the time of the offence. . .
  • Cited – Director of Public Prosecutions -v- Ping Lin PC ([1976] AC 574)
    The Board was asked whether a statement by the defendant was shown to be voluntary.
    Held: A trial Judge faced by the problem should approach the task in a common sense way and should ask himself whether the prosecution had proved that the . .
  • Cited – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, Mahmoud Abu Rideh Jamal Ajouaou -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department CA (Times 05-Oct-04, Bailii, [2004] EWCA Civ 1123, [2005] 1 WLR 414)
    The claimants had each been detained without trial for more than two years, being held as suspected terrorists. They were free leave to return to their own countries, but they feared for their lives if returned. They complained that the evidence . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Bass CCA ([1953] 1 QB 680, (1953) 17 Cr App R 51)
    The court considered how to deal with the admission of a statement where the defendant contested its admissibility. Here the defendant said he had not been cautioned before the interview.
    Held: It was within the discretion of the judge to . .
  • Cited – Regina -v- Mushtaq HL (Bailii, [2005] UKHL 25, Times 28-Apr-05, House of Lords, [2005] 1 WLR 1513)
    The defendant was convicted of fraud charges. He sought to have excluded statements made in interview on the basis that they had been obtained by oppressive behaviour by the police. His wife was very seriously ill in hospital and he had made the . .
  • Cited – A and others -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL (Bailii, [2005] UKHL 71, House of Lords, Times 09-Dec-05, [2005] 3 WLR 1249, [2006] 2 AC 221, [2006] 1 All ER 575, 19 BHRC 441, [2006] UKHRR 225, [2006] HRLR)
    The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
  • Cited – Cletus Timothy, Dexter Reid and Sheldon Lewis -v- The State PC (Bailii, PC, PC, PC, [1999] UKPC 19, Appeal No 18 of 1998)
    PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The defendants appealed their convictions for murder. They asserted that the police had extracted confessions by torture, and that other evidence had been obtained by oppression.
  • Cited – Regina -v- Rennie CACD ((1982) 74 Cr App R 20, [1982] 1 WLR 509, [1982] 1 All ER 424)
    In the course of an interrogation, the detective sergeant, after telling the appellant the gist of the information already possessed by the police, said ‘Do me a favour, this was a joint operation by your family to defraud the bank, wasn’t it?’ and . .

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