Maxwell, 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, the defence and the Court as to benefits provided to the informant on whose evidence the case was largely based.
Held: The appeal failed (Brown, Collins LL dissenting) The question of ordering a retrial was, by the 1968 Act a matter of discretion, made ‘in the interests of justice’: ‘The interests of justice is not a hard-edged concept. A decision as to what the interests of justice requires calls for an exercise of judgment in which a number of relevant factors have to be taken into account and weighed in the balance. In difficult borderline cases, there may be scope for legitimate differences of opinion. I do not believe it to be controversial that a decision under section 7 of the 1968 Act as to whether the interests of justice require a retrial calls for an exercise of judgment which should only be upset on appeal if it was plainly wrong in the sense that it is one which no reasonable court could have made or if the court took into account immaterial factors or failed to take into account material factors.2
As to the issue of abuse of process, where justice required a hearing, Lord Dyson JSC said that: ‘the court is concerned to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system. Here a stay will be granted where the court concludes that in all the circumstances a trial will offend the court’s sense of justice and propriety . . or will undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring it into disrepute . .’

Lord Rodger, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Collins, Lord Dyson
[2010] UKSC 48, [2011] 2 Cr App Rep 31, [2011] 1 WLR 1837, UKSC 2010/0003
Bailii, SC Summary, SC
Criminal Appeal Act 1968 7(1)
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex Parte Bennett (No 1) HL 24-Jun-1993
The defendant had been brought to the UK in a manner which was in breach of extradition law. He had, in effect, been kidnapped by the authorities.
Held: The High Court may look at how an accused person was brought within the jurisdiction when . .
CitedRegina v Latif; Regina v Shahzad HL 23-Jan-1996
The defendant had been lured into the UK by the unlawful acts of customs officers. He claimed abuse of process.
Held: The category of cases in which the abuse of process principles can be applied is not closed. A customs officer committing an . .
CitedRegina v Mullen CACD 4-Feb-1999
British authorities, in disregard of available extradition procedures, initiated and procured the unlawful deportation of the appellant from Zimbabwe to England. The appellant was charged and tried for conspiracy to cause explosions likely to . .
CitedPanday v Virgil PC 9-Apr-2008
(Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant’s appeal against conviction had succeeded on the basis of apparent bias in the tribunal. He now appealed the order remitting the case to be reheard, saying that a fair trial was no longer possible.
Held: The . .
CitedConnelly v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1964
Plea of Autrefois Acquit is Narrow in Scope
The defendant had been tried for and acquitted of murder. The prosecution then sought to have him tried for robbery out of the same alleged facts. The House considered his plea of autrefois convict.
Held: The majority identified a narrow . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Humphrys HL 1977
Humphrys was charged with driving while disqualified. The issue was the correctness of the identification by a police constable. In evidence, Humphrys denied that he was the driver, or indeed that he had driven any car during the year in question. . .
CitedRegina v Derby Magistrates Court, ex parte Brooks 1993
Looking at the court’s power to halt a prosecution as an abuse of process, the court said: ‘The power to stop a prosecution arises only when it is an abuse of a process of the court. It may be an abuse of process if either (a) the prosecution have . .
CitedRegina v Derby Magistrates Court Ex Parte B HL 19-Oct-1995
No Breach of Solicitor Client Confidence Allowed
B was charged with the murder of a young girl. He made a confession to the police, but later changed his story, saying his stepfather had killed the girl. He was acquitted. The stepfather was then charged with the murder. At his committal for trial, . .
CitedRegina v Tantram; Regina v Bibby etc CACD 24-May-2001
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy in have combined to put into the human food chain poultry meat which had been condemned as unfit. The jury after retiremen had indicated that they had reached agreement on some . .
CitedRegina v Looseley (orse Loosely); Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 2000 HL 25-Oct-2001
Police Entrapment is no defence to Criminal Act
The defendant complained of his conviction for supplying controlled drugs, saying that the undercover police officer had requested him to make the supply.
Held: It was an abuse of process for the police to go so far as to incite a crime.
CitedRegina v Regan 14-Feb-2002
Canlii Supreme Court of Canada – Criminal law – Remedies – Abuse of process – Stay of proceedings – Accused charged with sex-related offences – Police identifying accused as suspect before charges laid – Crown . .
CitedRegina v Early, Regina v Bajwa, Regina v Vickers etc CACD 26-Jul-2002
The appellants challenged their convictions after several trials, alleging dishonesty on the part of the Customs and Excise prosecuting team in misleading the trial judges when making pre-trial applications. Several prosecutions had depended upon . .

Cited by:
CitedHamilton 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.526419