Regina v Mills, Regina v Poole: HL 24 Jul 1997

The prosecution have a duty to disclose to the defence the statement of an adverse witness and not just to provide the name and address, even though that person was not seen as credible witness by the prosecution. ‘the rule in Bryant and Dickson is not in conformity with the principles relating to disclosure established by the decisions of the Court of Appeal subsequent to the trial of the appellants, and the rule should no longer be applied. ‘ However the conviction of neither defendant was unsafe.


Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton


Times 30-Jul-1997, [1997] UKHL 35, [1998] 1 Cr App Rep 43, [1998] AC 382, [1997] 3 All ER 780, [1997] 3 WLR 458


House of Lords, Bailii


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Russell-Jones CACD 1995
The Crown cannot be required to adduce evidence which (or to tender for cross-examination a witness whose evidence) is not capable of belief: ‘. . . the prosecution ought normally to call or offer to call all the witnesses who give direct evidence . .
CitedRegina v Brown (Winston) HL 20-Feb-1997
The victim had been stabbed outside a nightclub. Two witnesses identified the defendant. The defendants complained that evidence had not been disclosed to them.
Held: There is no duty at common law on the prosecution to warn the defence of . .
OverruledRex v Bryant and Dickson CCA 1946
A fraud occurred in respect of the repairing of ambulances in a garage operated by a company in which the defendant Dickson was the major shareholder and where the defendant Bryant worked. An employee of the company at the garage would make an . .
CitedRegina v Ward (Judith) CACD 15-Jul-1992
The defendant had been wrongly convicted of IRA bombings. She said that the prosecution had failed to disclose evidence.
Held: The prosecution’s forensic scientists are under a common law duty to disclose to the defence anything they may . .
CitedDallison v Caffery CACD 1965
It is for the detaining authority to justify all periods of detention.
The court described the common law duty on a prosecutor to disclose material. Lord Denning MR said: ‘The duty of a prosecuting counsel or solicitor, as I have always . .
CitedRegina v Stinchcombe 1991
(Supreme Court of Canada) The Crown had decided not to call a witness who was considered unworthy of credit by Crown counsel. The witness could have given evidence directly relevant to the issues arising at the trial. The Crown also refused to . .
CitedRegina v Seymour CACD 19-Dec-1995
A material irregularity had occurred because the prosecution had failed to disclose to the defence that they were in possession of a statement signed by a defence witness as to alibi which was used to cross-examine her when she gave evidence.
CitedRegina v Williams CACD 15-Apr-1994
Where the prosecution had taken a statement which undermined the credibility of a witness supporting a defence alibi, the prosecution was not obliged to give a copy of the statement to the defence. . .
CitedRegina v Lawson CACD 1-Jun-1989
The prosecution did not give the defence a copy of the statement of a witness as to material facts which supported the defence case because it considered that it might require to use the statement if the person who had made it were called as a . .
CitedRegina v Leyland Justices, Ex parte Hawthorn QBD 1979
A motorist successfully challenged his conviction for careless driving because of a failure by the prosecutor, in breach of a duty owed to the court and the defence, to disclose the existence of witnesses who could have given evidence favourable to . .
CitedRegina v Hennessey (Timothy) CACD 1978
The court considered the obligations of the prosecution on disclosure. The courts must: ‘keep in mind that those who prepare and conduct prosecutions owe a duty to the courts to ensure that all relevant evidence of help to an accused is either led . .
CitedRegina v Davis; Regina v Rowe; Regina v Johnson CA 10-Mar-1993
Guidance was given on the procedures to be followed for applications for non-disclosure for public interest immunity. The court identified three types of case. In the first, and most frequent case the prosecution must notify the defence of the . .
CitedRegina v Stinchombe 1991
(Supreme Court of Canada) Sopinka J described the fruits of a police investigation as: ‘not the property of the Crown for use in securing a conviction, but the property of the public to be used to ensure that justice is done.’ . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Mullen CACD 4-Feb-1999
British authorities, in disregard of available extradition procedures, initiated and procured the unlawful deportation of the appellant from Zimbabwe to England. The appellant was charged and tried for conspiracy to cause explosions likely to . .
CitedNunn v Suffolk Constabulary and Another Admn 4-May-2012
The claimant had been convicted of murder and his appeal had failed. He now sought disclosure of the forensic material held by the police to his own legal team.
Held: Permission to apply for review was granted, but the claim failed. ‘It is . .
CitedNunn, Regina (on The Application of) v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
Limits to Duty To Investigate
The claimant had been convicted of a murder. He continued to protest his innocence, and now sought judicial review of the respondent’s decision not to act upon his requests for further investigations which might prove his innocence.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.158909