Regina v Greenaway: CC 25 Jun 1992

(Central Criminal Court) The defendant Member of Parliament had faced charges of accepting bribes in return for advancing the interests of a commercial company.
Held: The charges were dismissed on the request of the prosecution after a separate trial in which the persons accused of having bribed him had been acquitted. Buckley J had earlier ruled that an MP could be charged with the common law offence of bribery.
It had been common ground that in general, members of Parliament are subject to the criminal law and that it would be ‘unacceptable’ for a member of Parliament to be immune from prosecution in the courts of law when there was prima facie evidence of corruption. Without it being suggested that he was questioning or impeaching words spoken in Parliament, he adopted the observations of Lord Salmon that: ‘To my mind equality before the law is one of the pillars of freedom. To say that immunity from criminal proceedings against . . any member of Parliament who accepts the bribe, stems from the Bill of Rights is possibly a serious mistake . . (the Bill of Rights) is a charter for freedom of speech in the House. It is not a charter for corruption . . the crime of corruption is complete when the bribe is offered or given or solicited and taken.’


Buckley J


Unreported, 25 June 1992

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Morley; Regina v Chaytor; Regina v Devine; Regina v Lord Hanningfield CC 11-Jun-2010
(Southwark Crown Court) The defendants faced charges of false accounting in connection with expense claims as members of parliament, three of the House of Commons and one of the Lords. Each claimed that the matter was covered by Parliamentary . .
CitedChaytor and Others, Regina v CACD 30-Jul-2010
The defendants had been members of the Houses of Commons and of Lords. They faced charges of dishonesty in respect of their expenses claims. They now appealed a finding that they were not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament under . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Constitutional

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.418270