Regina v Smith (Lance Percival): CACD 19 Feb 2003

The defendant argued that the judge should have ensured that some members of the jury were black. He was a black man being tried by an all white jury, with a white victim and white witnesses.
Held: The judge had no part to play in the selection of a jury, and could not influence their composition. The Convention had not changed that. A defendant’s right to a fair trial was satisfied by an independent and impartial tribunal established at law. Applying Magill, a fair minded and informed observer would not have concluded that there was a real possibility of bias. It was not the case that the defendant could only get a fair trial if there had been members of his own race on the jury.


Pill LJ, Hunt, Poitchford JJ,


Times 03-Mar-2003


European Convention on Human Rights


England and Wales


CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
DistinguishedGregory v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Feb-1997
A judge’s direction to the jury to disregard any question of racial bias was sufficient to ensure a fair trial for the defendant. In discussing the protection of the secrecy of jury deliberations: ‘The court acknowledges that the rule governing the . .
DistinguishedSander v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-May-2000
In a trial of an Asian defendant a juror complained that other jurors had made racist jokes, and feared that the defendant would not receive a fair trial. The judge obtained re-assurance from the jury that they would not so act, but did so in a way . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 11 September 2022; Ref: scu.179814