Davies v Health and Safety Executive: CA 18 Dec 2002

The defendant complained that section 40 imposed a burden of proof upon him which infringed the presumption of innocence and his right to a fair trial. The trial judge held that the burden imposed a legal burden rather than an evidential one.
Held: The Act could not be read down so as to impose only an evidential burden on the defendant. The court applied the three stage test from Kebilene, asking what the prosecution had first to prove to transfer the burden, then what are the characteristics of what the defendant had to prove, and what was the threat to society addressed by the transfer of the burden. Here, there was no threat of imprisonment, and enforcement would be impossible without such a transfer.


Tuckey LJ, Douglas Brown, Gordon JJ


Times 27-Dec-2002


Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 3(1) 33(1)(a) 40


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Kebilene and others HL 28-Oct-1999
(Orse Kebeline) The DPP’s appeal succeeded. A decision by the DPP to authorise a prosecution could not be judicially reviewed unless dishonesty, bad faith, or some other exceptional circumstance could be shown. A suggestion that the offence for . .
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Health and Safety, Human Rights

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.178604