Regina v Lea (Attorney-General’s Reference No 82 of 2000); Regina v Shatwell: CACD 28 Jan 2002

The defendants had been tried in cases where the prosecution had employed leading counsel. The defendants had been refused similar representation. They complained that this created an inequality of arms, and an unfair trial under Human Rights law. The question also arose as to the maximum sentence allowable after a re-trial ordered by the Court of Appeal.
Held: There was no interference with the right to a fair trial. The defendant had been properly and competently represented. As to sentence, the defendant had been first convicted, and sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment. The conviction was set aside and a re-trial ordered. The Act said that no greater sentence could be imposed on a second trial than on the first, but the Crown appealed the sentence as unduly lenient. Though cumbersome, the right procedure was for the Crown to make such an appeal on the first conviction. That could be heard before the appeal against conviction. The position on any subsequent trial would then be safeguarded.
Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Pitchford
Times 28-Feb-2002
European Convention on Human Rights Art 6, Criminal Justice Act 1988 36
England and Wales

Updated: 21 February 2021; Ref: scu.167670