Misick and Others v The Queen: PC 25 Jun 2015

Turks and Caicos – The appellants, a former Chief Minister and others, faced a trial on charges of corruption. They objected that the Justice set to hear the case had insufficient security of tenure to guarantee independence, and that the same judge had incorrectly directed the trial to be by himself alone and without a jury.
Held: The challenge failed. tTe Board had no doubt that any objective observer would see no danger of any lack of independence of the trial judge: ‘The following aspects of his position are not in doubt:
(i) the Constitutional guarantee of judicial independence in section 83(1) . . applies to him as it does to any other judge;
(ii) so too does section 84 guaranteeing his remuneration, allowances and terms of service: see para 17 above;
(iii) he has been appointed on the recommendation of the independent (and, as to the majority, judicial) JSC;
(iv) he is undoubtedly guaranteed security of tenure during his appointment, except in the case of cause shown to this Board under the provisions of section 85

Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson
[2015] UKPC 31, [2015] 2 Cr App R 23, [2015] WLR(D) 277, [2015] 1 WLR 3215
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD
CitedValente v The Queen 19-Dec-1985
Canlii Supreme Court of Canada – Courts — Charter of Rights — Independent tribunal — Provincial Court judge declined jurisdiction on ground Provincial Court (Criminal Division) not an independent tribunal — . .
CitedFindlay v United Kingdom ECHR 25-Feb-1997
‘in order to establish whether a tribunal can be considered as ‘independent’, regard must be had, inter alia, to the manner of appointment of its members and their term of office, the existence of guarantees against outside pressures and the . .
CitedStarrs v Ruxton HCJ 11-Nov-1999
The court was asked ‘whether the Lord Advocate has acted in a way which was incompatible with the rights of the accused under art 6(1) of the Convention to fair trial by ‘an independent and impartial tribunal’ within the meaning of that article.’ . .
CitedKearney v Her Majesty’s Advocate PC 6-Feb-2006
(High Court of Justiciary Scotland) The Board considered the assessment of the independence of a judge.
Held: Lord Carswell said that independence has a separate significance, apart from ensuring impartiality between the parties to the cause, . .
CitedBolkiah and others v The State of Brunei Darussalam and Another (62) PC 8-Nov-2007
(Brunei Darussalam) The Board considered whether the chief Justice of Brunei could be considered to be properly independent.
Held: Lord Bingham rejected the contention for an objective perception of bias as fanciful, saying of the Chief . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Constitutional

Updated: 01 January 2022; Ref: scu.549463