Regina v Chief Constable for Warwickshire and Others Ex Parte Fitzpatrick and Others: QBD 1 Oct 1997

Judicial Review is not the appropriate way to challenge the excessive nature of a search warrant issues by magistrates. A private law remedy is better. Jowitt J said: ‘Judicial review is not a fact finding exercise and it is an extremely unsatisfactory tool by which to determine, in any but the clearest of cases, whether there has been a seizure of material not permitted by a search warrant. In my judgment a person who complains of excessive seizure in breach of section 16(8) should not, save in such cases, seek his remedy by way of judicial review but should rely on his private law remedy when he will have a tribunal which will be able to hear evidence and make findings of fact unfettered by Wednesbury principles. In an appropriate case the court in a private law action is able to grant interlocutory relief on a speedy basis on well recognised principles so that in all but the clearest cases of a breach of section 16(8) judicial review has only disadvantages and no advantages when compared with the private law remedy.’
Any breach of section 15 or 16 renders the search and seizures unlawful.
Rose LJ, Jowitt LJ
Times 26-Nov-1997, [1997] EWHC Admin 820, [1999] 1 WLR 564, [1998] 1 All ER 65, [1998] Crim LR 290
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 15 16(8)
England and Wales
CitedReynolds v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis 1985
A search warrant had been obtained under the 1913 Act. The court considered the existence of a tort of obtaining a search warrant maliciously.
Waller LJ discussed the problem facing police officers when a large volume of material were to be . .
[1985] QB 881
Not PreferredRegina v Longman QBD 1988
Lord Lane CJ expressed reservations as to the construction of this provision: whether the consequence of a breach of section 15 or section 16 or both would render a search of premises under a warrant unlawful and he expressed the tentative view, . .
[1988] 1 WLR 619
CitedRegina v Central Criminal Court ex parte A J D Holdings Ltd CACD 14-Feb-1992
Nolan LJ said that the phrase used in section 15(6)(b), ‘so far as is practicable,’ is imprecise and that it may well be impossible to draw a clear line between what is and what is not practicable. . .
Unreported 14 February 92
PreferredRegina v Chief Constable of the Lancashire Constabulary ex parte Parker Admn 2-Jan-1993
There was a two paged document headed ‘warrant to enter and search premises’ which set out all the information required by section 15(6)(a). It did not, however, on its face identify the articles or persons to be sought in subparagraph (b). That . .
[1993] 2 All ER 56

Cited by:
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 . .
[2009] EWHC 1884 (QB)
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: . .
[2010] EWHC 522 (Admin), (2010) 174 JP 213, [2011] 1 WLR 948
CitedSher and Others v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Others Admn 21-Jul-2010
The claimants, Pakistani students in the UK on student visas, had been arrested and held by the defendants under the 2000 Act before being released 13 days later without charge. They were at first held incognito. They said that their arrest and . .
[2010] EWHC 1859 (Admin), [2011] 2 All ER 364, [2010] ACD 84
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 . .
[2012] EWHC 12 (QB)

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 December 2020; Ref: scu.86351