Lawrie -v- Muir; HCJ 23-Nov-1949

The prosecution case was said to have been based on evidence acquired during an unlawful search of the defendant’s premises.
Held: An irregularity in the method by which evidence has been obtained does not necessarily make that evidence inadmissible in a criminal prosecution.
Lord Justice General Cooper explained the basis for the approach: ‘From the standpoint of principle it seems to me that the law must strive to reconcile two highly important interests which are liable to come into conflict – (a) the interest of the citizen to be protected from illegal or irregular invasions of his liberties by the authorities, and (b) the interest of the State to secure that evidence bearing upon the commission of crime and necessary to enable justice to be done shall not be withheld from Courts of law on any merely formal or technical ground. Neither of these objects can be insisted upon to the uttermost.’

Court: HCJ
Date: 23-Nov-1949
Judges: Lord Justice General Cooper
Links: Bailii,
References: [1949] ScotHC HCJAC_2, 1950 JC 19, 1950 SLT 37
Cases Cited:
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