Regina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others: HL 29 Mar 2006

Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence

Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were accordingly justified in law.
Held: The law on aggression was not part of domestic law, and the defence available to the defendants required them to be seeking to prevent a crime under domestic law. The legality of the war in Iraq did not come into the issue: ‘Necessity is potentially a domestic defence to a domestic offence. We have already held that no domestic crime is engaged. The executive’s action in declaring and waging war is, in itself, a lawful exercise of its powers under the prerogative. The court will accordingly have to consider the extent to which necessity might afford a defence to the defendants in the light of their beliefs on that basis. The extent to which their beliefs as to the facts will enable the defendants to establish any of the elements of the defence, in particular the requirement that they should be so acting in relation to people for whom they could reasonably regard themselves as being responsible is not a question we are called upon to answer.’
Lord Bingham pointed to: ‘what has become an important democratic principle in this country: that it is for those representing the people of the country in Parliament, not the executive and not the judges, to decide what conduct should be treated as lying so far outside the bounds of what is acceptable in our society as to attract criminal penalties. One would need very compelling reasons for departing from that principle.’
Lord Hoffmann suggested that defence of justification required that the acts of the defendant: ‘must be considered in the context of a functioning state in which legal disputes can be peacefully submitted to the courts and dispute over what should be law or government policy can be submitted to the arbitrament of the democratic process. In such circumstances, the apprehension, however honest or reasonable, of acts which are thought to be unlawful or contrary to the public interest, cannot justify the commission of criminal acts and the issue of justification should be withdrawn from the jury.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance
[2006] 2 CAR 9, [2002] 2 CAR 128, [2006] UKHL 16, Times 30-Mar-2006, [2006] 2 WLR 772, [2007] 1 AC 136, [2006] 2 Cr App Rep 9, [2006] 2 All ER 741, [2007] Crim LR 66
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 68(2)
England and Wales
CitedTriquet v Bath 1764
An English secretary to a foreign minister is privileged from arrests, though formerly a trader, and now under very suspicious circumstances. For a servant of a minister of a foreign country to claim protection against prosecution, it is not . .
Appeal fromAyliffe and others v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 21-Apr-2005
The case concerned actions taken at military bases by way of protest against the Iraq war. Each raised questions arising from the prosecution of the appellants for offences of aggravated trespass. The defendants asserted, among other things, that . .
Appeal fromJones and Milling, Olditch and Pritchard, and Richards v Gloucestershire Crown Prosecution Service CACD 21-Jul-2004
The court considered the extent to which the defendants in the proceedings can rely on their beliefs as to the unlawfulness of the United Kingdom’s actions in preparing for, declaring, and waging war in Iraq in 2003 in a defence to a charge of . .
CitedViveash v Becker 1814
A merchant who was resident in London took on additional duties as consul for a foreign government.
Held: the appointment was not sufficient to protect him from an action upon a mesne process. . .
CitedNovello v Toogood 29-Apr-1823
The defendant a British born subject was a music master and teacher of Italian, but was also employed in part as a chorister in the chapel of a foreign ambassador. He rented a large house, subletting parts. He resisted distraint on the premises for . .
CitedRegina v Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis, ex parte Rottman HL 16-May-2002
The defendant had been arrested under an extradition warrant issued under the Act. The police had searched his premises, and found further evidence which was used to support the application for extradition. He challenged the collection and admission . .
CitedHutchinson v Newbury Magistrates Court QBD 9-Oct-2000
The appellant’s conviction for criminal damage to a fence at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston was upheld by the Crown Court; and she appealed by way of case stated to the Divisional Court, maintaining that she had acted in order to . .
CitedDuke of Brunswick v The King of Hanover HL 31-Jul-1948
The Duke claimed that the King of Hanover had been involved in the removal of the Duke from his position as reigning Duke and in the maladministration of his estates.
Held: ‘A foreign Sovereign, coming into this country cannot be made . .
CitedRegina v Bartle and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte; Regina v Evans and Similar (No 3) HL 24-Mar-1999
An application to extradite a former head of state for an offence which was not at the time an offence under English law would fail, but could proceed in respect of allegations of acts after that time. No immunity was intended for heads of state. . .
CitedTaylor v Best 1854
The defendant was a counsellor of a foreign legation, and was subject to the directions of the minister plenipotentiary. In the absence of the minister, he acted up as charge d’affaires. He sought the protection of the 1708 Act.
Held: A person . .
CitedNulyarimma v Thompson 1-Sep-1999
(Federal Court of Australia) The court rejected the automatic assimiliation of the international crime of genocide into national law.
Austlii CRIMINAL LAW – International crime of genocide – Meaning of . .
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry HL 1989
An undisclosed principal will not be permitted to claim to be party to a contract if this is contrary to the terms of the contract itself. Thus the provision in the standard form B contract of the London Metal Exchange ‘this contract is made between . .
CitedMagdalena Steam Navigation Company v Martin 1859
The defendant asserted that he was entitled to diplomatic privilege to protect him from an action here. He was public minister of a foreign state. He had been received by the Court and given formal accreditation. He had no real property in Britain. . .
CitedEmperor of Austria v Day and Kossuth 1861
The defendants had printed banknotes in London. Kossuth intended to use the notes in Hungary after overthrowing the Emperor of Austria by revolution. The Emperor obtained an injunction restraining the defendants from continuing to manufacture them. . .
CitedRegina v Keyn 13-Nov-1876
The court considered the significance of the existence of an academic consensus as to the meaning of an international convention. Cockburn CJ said: ‘even if entire unanimity had existed in respect of the important particulars to which I have . .
CitedIn re Piracy jure gentium PC 1934
Charges of piracy were brought against Chinese Nationals who had pursued and attacked a cargo junk. They were indicted in Hong Kong for the crime of piracy and found guilty subject to a question of law: ‘Whether an accused person may be convicted of . .
CitedChung Chi Cheung v The King PC 2-Dec-1938
Hong Kong.
Held: The applicant could not invoke any right under the rule of international law which placed upon a state a duty to receive its own national, because that rule was inconsistent with the domestic law. In modern times the idea of . .
CitedFormica Ltd v Export Credits Guarantee Department ComC 19-Oct-1994
A guarantor was entitled to see documents created by the company in chasing a debt. Procedure – specific discovery – common interest relied upon by applicant for discovery – insurance – documents brought into existence in furtherance of a common . .
CitedRe Sandrock and Others 1945
(British Military Court in Holland ) It was submitted that this military court was a court constituted under an Order in Council and was accordingly a domestic court applying English Law. . .
CitedRegina v Knuller (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd; Knuller etc v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1972
The defendants were charged after pasting up in telephone booths advertisements for homosexual services. They published a magazine with similar advertisements. The House was asked to confirm the existence of an offence of outraging public decency. . .
CitedTrendtex Trading Corporation v Central Bank of Nigeria CA 1977
The court considered the developing international jurisdiction over commercial activities of state bodies which might enjoy state immunity, and sought to ascertain whether or not the Central Bank of Nigeria was entitled to immunity from suit.
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry 1989
. .
CitedRegina v Renouf CACD 1986
The defendant had used his car to chase some people who had assaulted him and had so manoeuvred his car as to prevent their escape. The statutory defence in the 1967 Act (‘a person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances . . in . .
CitedCase Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v United States) ICJ 1986
The prohibition on the use of force in article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter was accepted as jus cogens, a universally recognised principle of international law. . .
CitedSwales v Cox CA 1981
Police officers had entered a house in pursuit of a suspected burglar.
Held: It is a condition of any lawful breaking of premises that the person seeking entry has demanded and been refused entry by the occupier.
Donaldson LJ said: ‘it . .
CitedLegality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (Request for Advice and Opinion by Un) ICJ 18-Jul-1996
The threat or actual use of nuclear weapons must only be in accordance with treaties, but if so was not unlawful. . .
CitedRegina v Hill and Hall CACD 1989
The defendants were separately tried for possession of an article with intent to damage property contrary to section 3. In each case the article in question was a hacksaw blade and it was the prosecution case that each of the applicants intended to . .
CitedRegina v Shayler CACD 28-Sep-2001
Duress as Defence not closely Defined
The defendant had been a member of MI5. He had signed the Official Secrets Act, but then disclosed various matters, including material obtained by interceptions under the Interception of Communications Act. He claimed that his disclosures were made . .
CitedRegina v Abdul-Hussain; Regina v Aboud; Regina v Hasan CACD 17-Dec-1998
The law of the defence of duress arising out of threat or circumstances is in need of urgent parliamentary clarification. Appeals were allowed where the defendants hijacked an airplane in order to escape deportation to a hostile country. ‘The . .
CitedRegina v Martin (Colin) CACD 29-Nov-1988
Defence of Necessity has a Place in Criminal Law
The defendant appealed against his conviction for driving whilst disqualified. He said he had felt obliged to drive his stepson to work because his stepson had overslept. His wife (who had suicidal tendencies) had been threatening suicide unless he . .

Cited by:
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The claimants appealed refusal of a judicial review of the defendant’s decision to enter into the war in Iraq. The claimants were parents of troops who had died in the war. They said that the legal advice given to the government was incorrect.
CitedRegina v F CACD 16-Feb-2007
The defendant was charged with offences for having been in possession of a document or record containing information of a kind ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’. It was thought he was associated with a . .
CitedRegina v Ulcay CACD 19-Oct-2007
The defendant appealed against his conviction, saying that his counsel and solicitors had withdrawn at the last moment on the grounds of professional embarrassment, the defendant having altered his instructions. New lawyers were unwilling to assist . .
CitedGentle, Regina (on the Application of) and Another v The Prime Minister and Another HL 9-Apr-2008
The appellants were mothers of two servicemen who had died whilst on active service in Iraq. They appealed refusal to grant a public inquiry. There had already been coroners inquests. They said that Article 2 had been infringed.
Held: The . .
CitedA, K, M, Q and G v HM Treasury Admn 24-Apr-2008
The applicants were suspected of terrorist associations. Their bank accounts and similar had been frozen. They challenged the Order in Council under which the orders had been made without an opportunity for parliamentary challenge or approval.
CitedNorris v United States of America and others HL 12-Mar-2008
The detainee appealed an order for extradition to the USA, saying that the offence (price-fixing) was not one known to English common law. The USA sought his extradition under the provisions of the Sherman Act.
Held: It was not, and it would . .
CitedBancoult, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimants challenged the 2004 Order which prevented their return to their homes on the Chagos Islands. The islanders had been taken off the island to leave it for use as a US airbase. In 2004, the island was no longer needed, and payment had . .
CitedRegina v Barkshire and Others CACD 20-Jul-2011
Undervover police were agents provocateur
The defendants appealed against their convictions for aggravated trespass, saying that the police had infiltrated their environmental protest group, and that the undercover officer had acted as agent provocateur to entrap them into the offences. . .
CitedBauer and Others v The Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 22-Mar-2013
The appellants had entered Fortnum and Masons to demonstrate against tax avoidance. They appealed against convitions for aggravated trespass.
Held: The statutory question posed by s.68 is whether the prosecution can prove that the trespasser . .
CitedColl v Floreat Merchant Banking Ltd and Others QBD 3-Jun-2014
The court was asked whether it was possible to bring contempt proceedings against a solicitor for the breach of an undertaking other than one given to the court. The parties had been employee and employer. On the breakdown of that relationship, the . .
CitedLord Carlile of Berriew QC, and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Nov-2014
The claimant had supported the grant of a visa to a woman in order to speak to members of Parliament who was de facto leader of an Iranian organsation which had in the past supported terrorism and had been proscribed in the UK, but that proscription . .
CitedRichardson and Another v Director of Public Prosecutions SC 5-Feb-2014
The defendants had protested against the activities of a shop, by trespassing. They were said to have committed the offence of aggravated trespass under section 68 of the 1994 Act. They objected in part that this infringed their article 10 right of . .
EstablishedAl Rabbat v Westminster Magistrates’ Court Admn 31-Jul-2017
The claimant appealed against refusal of an application for judicial review in turn of a refusal to allow private prosecutions of Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Lord Goldsmith in respect of their involvement in the war in Iraq, and the alleged crime of . .
CitedBancoult, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) SC 29-Jun-2016
Undisclosed Matter inadequate to revisit decision
The claimant sought to have set aside a decision of the House of Lords as to the validity of the 2004 Order, saying that it had been based on a failure by the defendant properly to disclose matters it was under a duty of candour to disclose.
CitedRoberts and Others v Regina CACD 6-Dec-2018
Sentencing of Political Protesters
The defendants appealed against sentences for causing a public nuisance. They had been protesting against fracking by climbing aboard a lorry and blocking a main road for several days.
Held: The appeals from immediate custodial sentences were . .
CitedNational Highways Ltd v Heyatawin and Others QBD 17-Nov-2021
The court considered allegations of contempt of court by protesters disobeying court injunctions.
Held: The allegations were variously proved, and indeed were largely uncontested. Sentences of imprisonment were imposed ranging up to 6 months: . .

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Crime, International, Human Rights

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Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.239745