Regina v P and others: HL 19 Dec 2000

Where communications had been intercepted in a foreign country, and the manner of such interceptions had been lawful in that country, the evidence produced was admissible in evidence in a trial in England. An admission of such evidence was not an infringement of the rights to a fair trial, nor of the right to respect for private and family life. It did not breach any rule of public policy and was not unfair under section 78. Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough said: ‘the dominant principle guiding the interpretation of the provisions of the [1985] Act was the policy of preserving the secrecy of the surveillance operations to which the Act applied and, to that end, preventing as far as possible any evidence relating to such operations ever reaching the public domain’. The interceptions had been made under the laws of that country, even though one party to the conversation had been in England. The use of an intercept could interfere with article 8.2 rights, but in this case the intercepts had been lawful obtained, and the use sought to be made of it was in accordance with the original purpose, and the intercepts had been kept for no longer than necessary for that purpose. In this case, one of other parties to the conversation was to give evidence, and this must substantially perfect any issue of unfairness. The Act 1985 Act had no application, because the interceptions had not been made under it. That question was to be judged according to the laws of the country which the interception was made.
The defendants appealed against the admission in their trials of telephone intercept evidence obtained lawfully in a foreign country, but including calls to this country. They had been admitted applying Aujla after consideration as to their fairness with section 78 of the 1984 Act.
Held: The appeals were dismissed; ‘The case of Aujla was rightly decided. The decision of the ECHR in Khan shows that the coming into effect of the Human Rights Act does not invalidate in the relevant respects the decision of your Lordships’ House in that case and that s.78 is an appropriate safeguard of the fairness of the trial.’
Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough
Times 19-Dec-2000, Gazette 22-Feb-2001, [2002] 1 AC 146, [2000] UKHL 69, [2000] UKHL 72, [2001] 2 Cr App R 8, [2001] 2 All ER 58, [2001] 2 WLR 463
House of Lords, House of Lords, Bailii, Bailii
Interception of Communications Act 1985, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 78, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, European Convention on Human Rights 8 6
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Preston, Preston, Clarke Etc HL 5-Nov-1993
Telephone tapping evidence consisting of tapping records are to be destroyed after their use for the purpose obtained, but a prosecution was not within that purpose. The underlying purpose of the 1985 Act is to protect information as to the . .
CitedRegina v Khan (Sultan) HL 2-Jul-1996
The police had obtained the evidence against the defendant by fixing a covert listening device at an apartment visited by the defendant, and by recording his conversations there. The defendant appealed, saying that the court should have regard to . .
CitedRegina v Singh and Others CACD 7-Nov-1997
The defendants appealed against a ruling allowing the admissipn in their trial of transcripts of telephone conversations. The results of the interception of a telephone call made abroad and in accordance with law of that country is admissible here. . .
CitedRegina v Preston, Preston, Clarke Etc HL 5-Nov-1993
Telephone tapping evidence consisting of tapping records are to be destroyed after their use for the purpose obtained, but a prosecution was not within that purpose. The underlying purpose of the 1985 Act is to protect information as to the . .
CitedMorgans v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 18-Feb-2000
Without a warrant, the police had arranged for a call logger to retain details of the calls made, including the number called, time and duration. The dialing itself was a communication, which established a connection, through which further . .
CitedMalone v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis (No 2) ChD 28-Feb-1979
The court considered the lawfulness of telephone tapping. The issue arose following a trial in which the prosecution had admitted the interception of the plaintiff’s telephone conversations under a warrant issued by the Secretary of State. The . .
CitedThe Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Apr-1979
The court considered the meaning of the need for an offence to be ‘in accordance with law.’ The applicants did not argue that the expression prescribed by law required legislation in every case, but contended that legislation was required only where . .
CitedThe Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Apr-1979
The court considered the meaning of the need for an offence to be ‘in accordance with law.’ The applicants did not argue that the expression prescribed by law required legislation in every case, but contended that legislation was required only where . .
CitedKlass And Others v Germany ECHR 6-Sep-1978
The claimant objected to the disclosure by the police of matters revealed during their investigation, but in this case, it was held, disclosure even after the event ‘might well jeopardise the long-term purpose that originally prompted the . .
CitedAmann v Switzerland ECHR 16-Feb-2000
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 8 with regard to interception of telephone call; Violation of Art. 8 with regard to creation and storing of information card; Preliminary objection . .
CitedKhan v The United Kingdom ECHR 12-May-2000
Evidence was acknowledged to have been obtained unlawfully and in breach of another article of the Convention. The police had installed covert listening devices on private property without the knowledge or consent of the owner. UK national law did . .
CitedSchenk v Switzerland ECHR 12-Jul-1988
The applicant had faced charges of hiring someone to kill his wife. He complained about the use of a recording of his telephone conversation with the man he hired recorded unlawfully by that man.
Held: The ECHR does not address issues about . .
CitedSchenk v Switzerland ECHR 12-Jul-1988
The applicant had faced charges of hiring someone to kill his wife. He complained about the use of a recording of his telephone conversation with the man he hired recorded unlawfully by that man.
Held: The ECHR does not address issues about . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Belmarsh Prison and Another Ex Parte Francis QBD 12-Apr-1995
Justices may not hear evidence from accomplices in extradition proceedings. Also foreign intercept evidence may be used in support of extradition proceedings. Extradition proceedings are not criminal proceedings as such, but may be sui generis. . .
CitedRegina v Rasool, Choudhary CACD 5-Feb-1997
The defendants appealed against convictions for conspiracy to supply a controlled drug. . .
CitedTeixeira De Castro v Portugal ECHR 9-Jun-1998
Mr De Castro had been the target of an unwarranted, unauthorised, unsupervised police operation in which undercover officers incited him to supply drugs. He challenged a conviction for trafficking in heroin, based mainly on statements of two police . .
CitedRegina v Owen; Regina v Stephen CACD 11-Nov-1998
A recorded prisoner’s telephone call from prison was admissible in evidence without the defence having any right to challenge it, where the interceptor established a presumption of consent to the interception because of warnings given to prisoners. . .

Cited by:
CitedW, Regina v (Attorney General’s reference no 5 of 2002) CACD 12-Jun-2003
Three serving police officers provided confidential information to a known criminal. The Chief Constable authorised interception of telephones at a police station, a private network. The court accepted that section 17 prevented the defence asserting . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 5 of 2002) HL 14-Oct-2004
The Attorney General sought the correct interpretation of section 17 where a court was asked as to whether evidence obtained from a telephone tapping had been taken from a public or private network. A chief constable suspected that the defendants, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 April 2021; Ref: scu.88580