Regina v Farooqi and Others: CACD 30 Sep 2013

Defendants appealed against their conviction of terrorist acts alleging incompetence by their leading counsel.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘ Notwithstanding many unfortunate features of this trial the convictions of three of the defendants, and the acquittal of the fourth defendant, followed a fair trial.’ Criticisms had been made, but ‘ the question for decision is not one of professional discipline, but whether the trial was marred by any unfairness to one or more of the appellants which renders any of the convictions unsafe.’ Defence counsel: ’embarked on the forensic strategy of an all-out attack on every aspect of the prosecution case, sometimes at a very late stage in the process, in circumstances which can be described as ‘ambush’ and of confrontation with and disobedience to the judge. The objective of this strategy would have been to seek to distract the attention of the jury from the simple question which they were required to address: what conclusions should properly be drawn from the incontrovertible evidence of these conversations? ‘ . . And . . ‘This was not fearless advocacy, with the advocate necessarily standing firm in the interests of his client in the best traditions of the Bar. Advocacy of the kind employed . . would rapidly destroy a system for the administration of justice which depends on a sensible, as we have emphasised, respectful working relationship between the judge and independent minded advocates responsibly fulfilling their complex professional obligations.’
The court gave detailed guidance on the limits of behaviour for an advocate in presenting his client’s case.
As to the defendant’s decision not to give evidence: ‘There is no credible material to support the proposition that Farooqi did not make an informed decision or that he was improperly advised. The submission that he should have been told in terms that he needed to go into the witness box has the disadvantage of being made in hindsight and from a different tactical viewpoint. It also fails to acknowledge the devastating nature of the cross-examination to which Farooqi would have been exposed, and its possible damaging impact on the remaining defendants including Farooqi’s son. It is clear to us that there was significant discussion of the pros and cons of giving and/or calling evidence; it is clear that Farooqi was aware that he had a free hand in the matter; and the overwhelming inference is that he understood the general approach of the defence, which was not to challenge the primary evidence given, but to seek to set it in a context favourable to him. There is nothing in this point.’

Igor Judge, Baron Judge LCJ, Treacy LJ, Sharp J
[2013] EWCA Crim 1649
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Looseley (orse Loosely); Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 2000 HL 25-Oct-2001
Police Entrapment is no defence to Criminal Act
The defendant complained of his conviction for supplying controlled drugs, saying that the undercover police officer had requested him to make the supply.
Held: It was an abuse of process for the police to go so far as to incite a crime.
CitedRegina v Rochford CACD 28-Jul-2010
The defendant appealed against sentence after being found in contempt. His lawyers had filed a defence statement, based on the defendant’s case, which the judge felt was inadequate. It was said that the defendant was in contempt after failing to . .
CitedKelly, Regina (on the Application of) v Warley Magistrates Court and The Law Society Admn 31-Jul-2007
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 21 November 2021; Ref: scu.516265