Balkissoon Roodal v The State: PC 20 Nov 2003

(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant challenged the automatic death sentence imposed upon him for murder.
Held: There were conflicting constitutional provisions. Following Fisher, in the context of issues of capital sentences a wider view was required. The death penalty should no longer be read as mandatory. Legislation since 1976 meant that the court now had a ciscretion to impose imprisonment.


Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2003] UKHL 78, Times 26-Nov-2003, Gazette 15-Jan-2004, [2004] 2 WLR 652, Gazette 05-Feb-2004


Bailii, PC


CitedRegina v Powell (Anthony) and Another; Regina v English HL 30-Oct-1997
When the court looked at the issue of foreseeability of murder in an allegation of joint enterprise, there was no requirement to show intent by the secondary party. The forseeability of the risk of the principal committing the offence from the point . .
CitedBlack-Clawson International Ltd v Papierwerke Waldhof Aschaffenburg AG HL 5-Mar-1975
Statute’s Mischief May be Inspected
The House considered limitations upon them in reading statements made in the Houses of Parliament when construing a statute.
Held: It is rare that a statute can be properly interpreted without knowing the legislative object. The courts may . .
CitedRegina v Burstow, Regina v Ireland HL 24-Jul-1997
The defendant was accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he had made silent phone calls which were taken as threatening.
Held: An assault might consist of the making of a silent telephone call in circumstances where it causes . .
CitedReyes v The Queen PC 11-Mar-2002
(Belize) The Criminal Code of Belize provided that any murder by shooting was to be treated as Class A Murder, and be subject to the mandatory death penalty. The applicant having been convicted, appealed saying this was inhuman or degrading . .
CitedMinister of Home Affairs v Fisher PC 1979
Respect must be paid to the language which has been used in a constitutional statute and to the traditions and usages which have given meaning to that language. It is quite consistent with this, and with the recognition that rules of interpretation . .
CitedKanda v Government of the Federation of Malaya PC 2-Apr-1962
A police Inspector had been dismissed on a finding of an offence against discipline. . He complained that he had not been allowed to see the report of the Board of Inquiry which contained prejudicial material and which had been relied upon by the . .

Cited by:

CitedHaroon Khan v The State PC 20-Nov-2003
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant had been convicted of felony murder. He was one of four engaged in a robbery, where the victim received fatal injuries.
Held: The felony murder rule had been . .
OverruledMatthew vThe State PC 7-Jul-2004
(Trinidad and Tobago) The court questioned the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Trinidad.
Held: The constitution of Trinidad, when implemented, forbade cruel and unusual punishment, but also preserved existing penalties. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Criminal Sentencing, Commonwealth

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.188441