Regina v Liverpool Juvenile Court ex parte R: 1988

R was charged with burglary. He objected to the admission of evidence of a confession to a police officer, saying that it had been improperly obtained. Both prosecution and defence suggested the need for a voir dire, but the magistrates declined.
Held: R’s request for a writ of mandamus succeeded. Once the parties accepted that the admissibility of the alleged statement was contested, he was entitled to have its admissibility tested as a preliminary issue. When magistrates conducting a summary trial are faced with an objection to the admissibility of evidence under ss 76 and/or 78 of PACE, they are obliged to determine the objections forthwith by holding a trial within a trial (voir dire).
Questions put to an investigating officer to test the admissibility of the evidence were not on their own sufficient to give rise to the need for a voir dire.


Russell LJ


[1988] QB 1, [1987] 2 All ER 668, (1987) 86 Cr App R 1, [1987] Crim LR 572, [1987] 3 WLR 224


Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 76 78

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Dhorajiwala CACD 9-Jun-2010
The defendant appealed against her conviction for theft. She had been accused of stealing money over many months from the till at the pharmacy where she worked. She said that a confession in interviews conducted by civilian investigators should not . .
CitedBeeres v Crown Prosecution Service (West Midlands) Admn 13-Feb-2014
The defendant said that his confession should not have been admitted in evidence it having been given when he had not been advised of his rights whilst at the police station because of his inebriation.
Held: The appeal failed. A confession is, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Magistrates

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.416720