Regina 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 information was contained in a separate schedule. The court rejected the submission that the former document constituted the warrant and the latter a distinct schedule which was independent of the warrant. The warrant was both documents taken together.
Held: Nolan LJ said that he read ‘it’ as to referring to the composite process of entering and searching under a warrant so that in order for that process to be lawful the application for and issue has to have been in compliance with section 15 and its execution has to comply with section 16. This does no violence to the language of the sub-section and gives effect to what seems to us to be its obvious legislative purpose.
Nolan LJ said that: ‘It will be seen that the two-paged document satisfies the requirements of para (a), and it is common ground that the one-paged document, the schedule, satisfied the requirements of para (b), so that taken together they constitute a warrant which complies with the provisions of sub-s(6). Taken separately, neither of them does so.’ As to the purpose of producing two certified copies, he said: ‘the need for two certified copies of the warrant is explicable in the following way. A copy has to be served on the occupier or left at the premises and the occupier needs a copy whose authenticity does not depend on the word of the police. For their part the police need to be able to retain an authentic copy for record purposes lest any question should arise over the legality of the warrant and its execution. They also should be able to rely on a copy for whose authenticity they are not responsible.’


Nolan LJ, Jowitt J


[1993] 2 All ER 56


Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 15 16


England and Wales

Cited by:

PreferredRegina 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 . .
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: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.235715