Regina v Chesterfield Justices and Others, Ex Parte Bramley: QBD 10 Nov 1999

When police officers executed a search warrant, it was not proper to remove articles at large, in order later to sift through them, and then to return material not covered by the warrant. There is no absolute prohibition against removing articles for which legal professional privilege was claimed, provided the officer had reasonable grounds for believing that the material was not so protected. Material removed, but then found not to have been covered by the warrant, must be returned immediately. The court disagreed that, before seizing the document, the officer had to be satisfied that it did not consist of or include items subject to legal privilege. ‘The officers are not, for example, required to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the material sought does not consist of or include items subject to legal professional privilege’.
Kennedy LJ said: ‘I accept, of course, that any failure to comply with the requirements of either section 15 or section 16 renders the whole process of entry and search unlawful . .’


Kennedy LJ


Gazette 25-Nov-1999, Times 10-Nov-1999, [2000] QB 576, [2001] All ER 411, [2000] 2 WLR 409


Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 8(1)

Cited by:

CitedH, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioners of Inland Revenue Admn 23-Oct-2002
The appellant sought judicial review of the seizure by the respondents of computers found on its premises in the course of executing warrants under the Act, even though the computers might contain other matters not relevant to any investigation.
CitedKent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, (Regina on the Application of ) v Serious Fraud Office and Another Admn 17-Dec-2003
The claimant sought judicial review of the decision of the respondent to disclose documents obtained by it from them during an investigation.
Held: The decisions to disclose material to the DoH were ‘in accordance with law’ within the meaning . .
CitedBell v The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police CA 19-Jul-2005
The claimant had sued over the way he was treated by the respondent in a fraud investigation. The court had dismissed his claims for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. A prosecution had been commenced but dropped. The judge had held the arrest . .
CitedFaisaltex Ltd and Others v Lancashire Constabulary and Another QBD 24-Jul-2009
The claimants wished to claim damages saying that in executing a search warrant, the defendant had made excessive seizures of material. The claimants sought inspection by independent counsel of the materials seized to establish this in a manner . .
CitedBhatti and Others v Croydon Magistrates’ Court and Others Admn 3-Feb-2010
The claimant challenged the valiity of search warrants used at his home. He said they were deficient in not including the information as required by the Act. The police said that they were in accordance with the Home Office guidance.
Held: . .
CitedFitzpatrick and Others v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis QBD 11-Jan-2012
The claimants, two solicitors and their employer firm sought damages alleging trespass and malicious procurement by police officers in obtaining and executing search warrants against the firm in 2007 when they were investigating suspected offences . .
CitedPoonam v Secretary of State for The Home Department QBD 18-Jul-2013
The claimant sought damages, alleging: ‘oppressive questioning, unlawful arrest, unlawful detention, unlawful search of her home, theft and / or failure to secure her home premises, and the wrongful declaration by the UKBA that she was an illegal . .
CitedPearce and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Another CA 18-Jul-2013
The appellants challenged rejection of their complaints that actions of police officers searching their ‘squats’ when executing search warrants, were unlawful in that they had been intended not as descrbed for the search for stolen goods, but rather . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Police

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.85178