Hamilton and Others v Post Office Ltd: CACD 15 Jan 2021

Good Reason to Pursue Second Appeal

The appellants had been convicted of fraud against the Post Office. The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred their convictions on two grounds, namely abuse of process for the inability to provide a fair trial, and that the trial was an affront to the conscience of the court. The first was unopposed by the respondents. The appellants said that the convictions arose from faulty software supplied by the Respondent, and persisted with both grounds of appeal.
Held: Having been granted permission to appeal under both grounds, it nevertheless was clear that the court allowing the appeal on the first ground had no binding obligation to decide the second.
Here the combination of the strong public interest and the defendants’ legitimate interests was enough to require a decision on both grounds of appeal. Matters could be kept within proper limits by case management.
When considering whether it is necessary or desirable in the interests of justice that a further ground should be determined, the factors which the court will usually wish to consider include (but are not limited to) the following:
i) The article 6 rights of the appellant;
ii) The overall importance to the parties and to the public of the further ground, bearing in mind that the appeal will in any event be successful;
iii) The furtherance of the overriding objective in accordance with the Rules;
iv) Whether the additional ground raises issues of particular importance in relation to the character and/or reputation of the appellant and/or of a witness or other person concerned in the proceedings;
v) Whether the additional ground relates to an issue which should be resolved in order to maintain public confidence in the criminal justice system;
vi) Whether the additional ground raises a legal issue which may be important in other cases;
vii) The desirability of an appellant, even though his or her appeal will in any event succeed, being able to seek appropriate vindication;
viii) The time and expense which will be involved in determining the additional ground, and the extent to which the court’s resources will be taken up, bearing in mind the interests of appellants in other, unrelated cases who wish their appeals to be heard;
ix) Whether determination of the additional ground would give rise to undesirable delay to the instant appeal, or to other cases which are in some way linked to it or affected by it;
x) Whether determination of the additional ground is necessary in order to establish the proper basis on which a retrial of an appellant would be conducted;
xi) Whether any party may have a collateral reason for wishing to argue, or to avoid having to argue, the additional ground, and if so, the legitimacy (or otherwise) of that reason.

Holroyde LJ, Picken, Farbey JJ
[2021] EWCA Crim 21, [2021] WLR(D) 66
Bailii, WLRD
Criminal Appeal Act 1968 1 2, Criminal Appeal Act 1995 9
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Berry (No 3) CACD 1993
If there are several grounds of appeal, the Court of Appeal can decide whether the other grounds are to be considered.
The Court of Appeal is to note any unresolved issues after a case has decided on one point only.
Lord Taylor CJ . .
CitedMaxwell, Regina v SC 20-Jul-2011
The defendant had had his conviction for murder set aside after a finding of gross prosecutorial misconduct by the police. The Court was now asked as to the propriety of the order for a retrial. The police involved in the case had misled the CPS, . .
CitedSadeer, Regina v CACD 8-Nov-2018
. .
CitedRegina v Mandair HL 20-May-1994
The House of Lords may itself determine the grounds of an appeal, and deal with matters undetermined by Court of Appeal. A verdict of ‘causing GBH’ (not inflicting) was not an offence unknown to law. A verdict of ‘causing GBH contrary to s20’ was . .
CitedRegina v Smith (Wallace Duncan) (No 3) CACD 28-Nov-2002
The appellant was supported in his appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. In addition the appellant sought to permission raise other grounds of appeal. The prosecution asserted that the court could filter the grounds of appeal already . .
CitedRegina v Mears and Another CACD 10-Nov-2011
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.657256