Haroon 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Held: The felony murder rule had been re-introduced after it had been repealed as a side effect of abolishing the distinction between felonies and misdemeanours. The appellant now argued that the re-introduction of the rule was unconstitutional, as it was inconsistent with the presumption of innocence. ‘The presumption of innocence is perhaps the most fundamental principle underlying the administration of the criminal law. It places on the prosecution, fairly and squarely, the duty of proving guilt. But it does not control the ingredients of the offence which the prosecution must prove to establish guilt.’ The present case fell within that rule, and the new law was not unconstitutional. The appellant’s sentence of death was however overturned under Roodal.


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


[2005] 1 AC 374, [2003] UKPC 79, Times 26-Nov-2003, Gazette 15-Jan-2004


Bailii, PC


CitedMoses v The State PC 29-Jul-1996
(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant had been convicted under the felony murder rule, where if a victim dies in the course of the defendant committing a felony, the defendant is guilty of murder.
Held: The distinction between felony and murder . .
CitedRiel v The Queen PC 1885
A power given to a Parliament to ‘make laws for the peace, order and good government’ is ‘apt to authorize the utmost discretion of enactment for the attainment of the objects pointed to’ . .
CitedIbralebbe v The Queen PC 1964
(Grenada) In an appeal from the Court of Appeal of Grenada, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council forms part of the Grenadian judicial system. Section 53 of the constitution which empowered Parliament to ‘make laws for the peace, order and . .
CitedDarrin Roger Thomas and Haniff Hilaire v Cipriani Baptiste PC 17-Mar-1999
(Trinidad and Tobago) If the reason for delay in executing a prisoner was the slowness of bodies with whom appeals had been undertaken, that delay itself was not to be considered a good reason for preventing the execution. A delay period above 18m . .
CitedLewis, Taylor and Mcleod, Brown, Taylor and Shaw v the Attorney General of Jamaica and Another PC 12-Sep-2000
(Jamaica) When the Privy Council considered a petition for mercy by a person sentenced to death, it could not revisit the decision, but could look only at the procedural fairness of the system. The system should allow properly for representations, . .
CitedBalkissoon 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 . .

Cited by:

CitedHer Majesty’s Attorney General for Gibraltar v Shimidzu (Berllaque, Intervenor) PC 28-Jun-2005
(Gibraltar) The appellants sought to argue that the failure to allow an acquitted defendant any possible order for costs was a breach of the Constitution.
Held: Section 8 of the Constitution, like its analogue article 6 of the European . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Crime, Constitutional

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.188442