Regina v A (Complainant’s Sexual History) (No 2): HL 17 May 2001

The fact of previous consensual sex between complainant and defendant could be relevant in a trial of rape, and a refusal to allow such evidence could amount to a denial of a fair trial to a defendant. Accordingly, where the evidence was so relevant as to make the trial unfair without its admission, the section excluding such admission should be read so as to allow admission of such evidence. Evidence of earlier sexual behaviour of a woman has in the past been used to stereotype them as being both unchaste and untruthful. There had remained a serious mischief to be corrected. Nevertheless, a prior relationship could well affect the minds of the parties, and may be relevant. What constituted ‘at or about the same time’ for the purposes of admission, was to be read accordingly.
Lord Steyn observed that, while the right to a fair trial was absolute in the sense that a conviction obtained in breach of it could not stand, in determining what the concept of a fair trial entails, account could be taken of the familiar triangulation of the interests of the accused, the victim, and society.
Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton
Times 24-May-2001, [2001] UKHL 25, [2001] 3 All ER 1, [2001] 2 WLR 1586, [2002] 1 AC 45, [2001] UKHRR 825, (2001) 165 JPN 750, [2001] HRLR 48, [2001] Cr App R 21, 11 BHRC 225, (2001) 165 JP 609
Bailii, House of Lords
Human Rights Act 1998 3, Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 41
England and Wales
See AlsoRegina v A (Joinder of Appropriate Minister) HL 21-Mar-2001
An appeal was to be heard by the committee in which it was expected that a declaration of incompatibility would be considered in respect of legislation restricting the raising by a defendant on a charge of rape of the complainant’s sexual history. . .

Cited by:
CitedGoode v Martin CA 13-Dec-2001
The claimant had sought to amend her claim for damages for personal injuries. The application had been rejected as introducing a claim not based on the same facts. She had suffered severe head injuries, and had no memory of the accident. She served . .
CitedHooper and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 18-Jun-2003
The appellants were widowers whose wives had died at a time when the benefits a widow would have received were denied to widowers. The legislation had since changed but they variously sought compensation for the unpaid sums.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedBalamurali, Sandhu v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 15-Dec-2003
The applicants challenged certificates from the respondent that their appeals were mere delaying tactice.
Held: The section aimed to grant specific rights of appeal, to ensure that all possible appeal issues were decided, and to prevent abuse. . .
CitedRusbridger and Another v Attorney General CA 20-Mar-2002
The paper wanted to publish an article about the monarchy but was concerened that it might lead to it being prosecuted under the 1848 Act. The complainant sought declarations as to the incompatibility of the 1848 Act with the 1998 Act.
Held: . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedAl-Fayed and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and others CA 25-Nov-2004
The appellants appealed from dismissal of their claims for wrongful imprisonment by the respondent. Each had attended at a police station for interview on allegations of theft. They had been arrested and held pending interview and then released. Mr . .
CitedHammond, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 25-Nov-2004
The defendant had heard that the sentencing judge would set his sentence tarriff without an oral hearing, and would then give his decision in open court. He sought judicial review.
Held: Review was granted. The availability of a right of . .
CitedRegina v F (Complainant’s sexual history) CACD 3-Mar-2005
The defendant had sought to raise the complainant’s sexual history in evidence. The allegation was that he had repeatedly raped his step daughter. He wished to put in evidence that after she had grown up, they had lived together after she had . .
CitedRoberts v Parole Board HL 7-Jul-2005
Balancing Rights of Prisoner and Society
The appellant had been convicted of the murder of three police officers in 1966. His tariff of thirty years had now long expired. He complained that material put before the Parole Board reviewing has case had not been disclosed to him.
Held: . .
CitedFrancis v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 10-Nov-2005
The applicant had sought payment of a ‘Sure Start’ maternity grant. She had obtained a residence order in respect of her sister’s baby daughter who had been taken into care. She said that a payment would have been made to the partner of a mother or . .
CitedWilkinson v Kitzinger and others FD 31-Jul-2006
The parties had gone through a ceremony of marriage in Columbia, being both women. After the relationship failed, the claimant sought a declaration that the witholding of the recognition of same-sex marriages recoginised in a foreign jurisdiction . .
CitedPearce v Mayfield School CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant teacher was a lesbian. She complained that her school in failed to protect her against abuse from pupils for her lesbianism. She appealed against a decision that the acts of the pupils did not amount to discrimination, and that the . .
CitedIn re A (A Minor) FD 8-Jul-2011
An application was made in care proceedings for an order restricting publication of information about the family after the deaths of two siblings of the child subject to the application. The Sun and a local newspaper had already published stories . .
CitedA v P (Surrogacy: Parental Order: Death of Applicant) FD 8-Jul-2011
M applied for a parental order under the 2008 Act. The child had been born through a surrogacy arrangement in India, which was lawful there, but would have been unlawful here. The clinic could not guarantee a biological relationship with the child. . .
CitedLukaszewski v The District Court In Torun, Poland SC 23-May-2012
Three of the appellants were Polish citizens resisting European Arrest Warrants. A fourth (H), a British citizen, faced extradition to the USA. An order for the extradition of eachhad been made, and acting under advice each filed a notice of appeal . .
CitedChild Maintenance and Enforcement Commission v Gibbons; Same v Karoonian CA 30-Oct-2012
Non-resident parents in each case appealed against suspended orders of imprisonment for non-payment of child support. They argued that the procedures used were indistinguishable from those held to be human rights non-compliant in Mubarak.
CitedMatheson v Mazars Solutions Ltd EAT 16-Dec-2003
EAT Practice and Procedure – Application. The application had been presented timeously at the ET in Edinburgh, but was out of time when retransmitted to Glasgow. The tribunal had found the Edinburgh office to be . .
CitedGjoni v Regina CACD 9-Apr-2014
The defendant appealed against his conviction for rape, raising an issue as to the proper approach to a judgment whether to exclude evidence of sexual behaviour of the complainant relating to a ‘relevant issue in the case’ within the meaning of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 August 2021; Ref: scu.88367