Regina v Latif; Regina v Shahzad: HL 23 Jan 1996

The defendant had been lured into the UK by the unlawful acts of customs officers. He claimed abuse of process.
Held: The category of cases in which the abuse of process principles can be applied is not closed. A customs officer committing an offence alongside the defendant did not necessarily make thereby make a prosecution of the defendant an abuse of process. The question was whether the behaviour was ‘so unworthy or shameful that it was an affront to the public conscience to allow the prosecution to proceed.’ ‘In this case the issue is whether, despite the fact that a fair trial was possible, the judge ought to have stayed the criminal proceedings on broader considerations of the integrity of the criminal justice system. The law is settled. Weighing countervailing considerations of policy and justice, it is for the judge in the exercise of his discretion to decide whether there has been an abuse of process, which amounts to an affront to the public conscience and requires the criminal proceedings to be stayed: R v Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex p. Bennett . . The speeches in Bennett conclusively establish that proceedings may be stayed in the exercise of the judge’s discretion not only where a fair trial is impossible but also where it would be contrary to the public interest in the integrity of the criminal justice system that trial should take place. An infinite variety of cases could arise.’ As to whether the chain of causation had been broken: ‘The free, deliberate and informed intervention of a second person, who intends to exploit the situation created by the first, but is not acting in concert with him is held to relieve the first actor of criminal responsibility.’

Lord Steyn, Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Mustill, Lord Hoffmann
Gazette 07-Feb-1996, Times 23-Jan-1996, Independent 23-Jan-1996, [1996] 1 WLR 104, [1996] UKHL 16, [1996] 2 Cr App R 92, [1996] 1 All ER 353, [1996] Crim LR 92
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 78
England and Wales
Appeal fromRegina v Latif, Regina v Shahzad CACD 17-Mar-1994
The acts of an agent provocateur give no defence under English Law. The remedy lies in the Judge’s discretion to exclude evidence unfairly obtained. Conduct which leads to the importation of drugs is ‘fraudulent evasion’. The appellants were . .
CitedRegina v Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex Parte Bennett (No 1) HL 24-Jun-1993
The defendant had been brought to the UK in a manner which was in breach of extradition law. He had, in effect, been kidnapped by the authorities.
Held: The High Court may look at how an accused person was brought within the jurisdiction when . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Stonehouse HL 1977
The defendant had been charged with attempting to obtain property by deception by fabricating his death by drowning in the sea off Miami in Florida. The final act alleged to constitute the offence occurred outside the jurisdiction of the English . .
CitedSomchai Liangsiriprasert v Government of the United States of America PC 1991
(Hong Kong) Application was made for the defendant’s extradition from Hong Kong to the USA. The question was whether a conspiracy entered into outside Hong Kong with the intention of committing the criminal offence of trafficking in drugs in Hong . .

Cited by:
CitedMullen, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant had been imprisoned, but his conviction was later overturned. He had been a victim of a gross abuse of executive power. The British authorities had acted in breach of international law and had been guilty of ‘a blatant and extremely . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Mullen) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 20-Dec-2002
The applicant had been unlawfully taken from Zimbabwe, then tried and sentenced in the UK. His conviction was set aside as unsafe, but he had been refused damages. He appealed.
Held: There was no substantial criticism of the trial itself, but . .
CitedA, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, Mahmoud Abu Rideh Jamal Ajouaou v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 11-Aug-2004
The claimants had each been detained without trial for more than two years, being held as suspected terrorists. They were free leave to return to their own countries, but they feared for their lives if returned. They complained that the evidence . .
CitedRegina v J HL 14-Oct-2004
The defendant was to have been accused of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16. Proceedings could not be brought, because the allegation was more than a year old, and he was instead accused of indecent assault, but on the same . .
CitedKennedy v Regina CACD 17-Mar-2005
The court considered when it was appropriate to find someone guilty of manslaughter where that person has been involved in the supply of a Class A controlled drug, which is then self administered by the person to whom it is supplied, and the . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Wood; Director of Public Prosecutions v McGillicuddy Admn 19-Jan-2006
Each defendant sought disclosure of materials concerning the intoximeter instruments, having been charged with driving with excess alcohol. The defendants said that the meters were inaccurate and that the manufacturers were in effect part of the . .
CitedChristian and others v The Queen PC 30-Oct-2006
(The Pitcairn Islands) The defendants appealed convictions for assorted sexual offences against underage girls. They denied that the laws under which they were convicted had applied to the Pitcairn Islands.
Held: The appeals against conviction . .
CitedRegina v Kennedy HL 17-Oct-2007
The defendant had been convicted of manslaughter. He had supplied a class A drug to a friend who then died taking it. The House was asked ‘When is it appropriate to find someone guilty of manslaughter where that person has been involved in the . .
CitedGnango, Regina v SC 14-Dec-2011
The prosecutor appealed against a successful appeal by the defendant against his conviction for murder. He and an opponent had engaged in a street battle using guns. His opponent had shot an innocent passer by. The court was now asked as to whether . .
CitedRegina v Moore and Another CACD 13-Feb-2013
The appellants said that they had been entrapped into committing the offences of which they stood convicted. Their applications for stay on the ground of abuse of process had been rejected.
Held: The appeal failed.
Rix Lj said: ‘the . .
CitedRegina v Moon CACD 10-Nov-2004
The defendant, a heroin addict said that the encouragement of a police officer to supply her with a small quantity of heroin amounted to entrapment and that her prosecution should have been stayed as an abuse of process. The officer had been . .
CitedMaxwell, Regina v SC 20-Jul-2011
The defendant had had his conviction for murder set aside after a finding of gross prosecutorial misconduct by the police. The Court was now asked as to the propriety of the order for a retrial. The police involved in the case had misled the CPS, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.87122