The applicant had had his premises searched. He sought to challenge the basis on which search warrant had been granted. He argued that under the Convention, it was necessary for the magistrates to provide a written record of the reasons for granting the warrant.
Held: Where the information laid was itself sufficient to account for the warrant a magistrate could be assumed to have acted upon it, and no further reasons were required to be noted. Warrants were often issued under conditions where such a requirement would be unreasonable. Here the magistrate would only have repeated the contents of the information. Where a magistrate elicited further information from the officer which affected the decision, it was necessary for that to be recorded.
Lord Woolf CJ said: ‘Information may contain details of an informer which it would be contrary to the public interest to reveal. The information may also contain other statements to which public interest immunity might apply. But, subject to that, if a person who is in the position of this claimant asks perfectly sensibly for a copy of the information, then speaking for myself I can see no objection to a copy of that information being provided. The citizen, in my judgment, should be entitled to be able to assess whether an information contains the material which justifies the issue of a warrant. This information contained the necessary evidence to justify issuing the warrant.’
Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Hallett, Stanley Burnton JJ
Times 28-Nov-2002, Gazette 30-Jan-2003,  EWHC 2568 (Admin),  1 WLR 752
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 23(3), European Convention on Human Rights Art 6 Art 8, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 8 15 16
England and Wales
Cited – AB and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court and Another Admn 10-Apr-2014
The claimants challenged the lawfuness of search warrants issued by the respondent court. They were solicitors, and were related to a person suspected of murder who was thought to have fled the country. The officers were looking for evidence that . .
Cited – Haralambous, Regina (on The Application of) v Crown Court at St Albans and Another SC 24-Jan-2018
The appellant challenged by review the use of closed material first in the issue of a search warrant, and subsequently to justify the retention of materials removed during the search.
Held: The appeal failed. No express statutory justification . .
Cited – Haralambous v St Albans Crown Court and Another Admn 22-Apr-2016
This judicial review raised for express decision whether a person whose premises have been searched and whose property seized under a search warrant must have enough information grounding the warrant to judge its lawfulness and the retention of the . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.402518