In re Kanaris (application for a writ of Habeas Corpus): HL 30 Jan 2003

The defendant faced charges with others on the same indictment. The judge called a preparatory hearing under the 1996 Act, against the others, but held a separate hearing for the defendant, at which he held a similar preparatory hearing for him alone. The defendant now complained that a separate hearing could not be held for different defendants, and that accordingly it was now out of time for him under the 1987 Regulations, and that he should be released.
Held: The judge had been wrong to hold that the defendants could only be arraigned together, and a preparatory hearing held for them all. There was no rule to say that they must be dealt with together. The defendant still retained some rights to apply for bail. Courts should be careful before setting up inflexible rules, and should still bear in mind the need not to deny the defendant the protection of the 1987 Regulations artificially so as to infringe his Article 5 rights.
Lord Hope said: ‘a judge who is minded to order a preparatory hearing in a long and complex case should be careful not to deprive an accused who is in custody of the protection of the statutory custody time limit until it has become necessary for him to do so. Section 32(2)(a) of the 1996 Act enables a judge to exercise the powers under section 31(4) to (7) before the preparatory hearing begins, and thus before arraignment, in a way that would be compatible with the accused’s Convention right. The use of this procedure should enable considerable progress to be made in the preparation and exchange of information before the judge engages in a detailed discussion of how the trial is to be managed, while at the same time preserving to the accused in the meantime the full protection of the statutory custody time limit.’


Nichyols of Birkenhead, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton


Times 31-Jan-2003, [2003] UKHL 2, [2003] 1 WLR 443, [2003] 1 All ER 593, [2003] 2 Cr App Rep 1


House of Lords, Bailii


Prosecution of Offences (Custody Time Limits) Regulations 1987 (1987 No 299) 5(6B), Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 29 30 32(2)(a), European Convention on Human Rights 5.3


England and Wales


Appeal fromAndreas Kanaris v Governor of H M P Pentonville Admn 17-Jan-2002
The defendant sought a writ of habeas corpus, asserting that the custody time limits in his matter had expired before his trial began. An application to extend the limits had to be made before the limit, and had to show proper conduct of the case. . .
CitedRegina v Southwark Crown Court, Ex parte Customs and Excise Commissioners QBD 1993
The court found that there was one preparatory hearing in existence, and that that had been conducted before Judge Anwyl-Davies QC. But the trial was listed for hearing before Judge Mota Singh QC, simply because of a direction by the presiding judge . .

Cited by:

CitedH, Regina v (Interlocutory application: Disclosure) HL 28-Feb-2007
The trial judge had refused an order requested at a preparatory hearing by the defence for the disclosure of documents held by the prosecutor. The House was now asked whether a right of appeal existed against such a refusal.
Held: The practice . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Human Rights

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.178820