Regina 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 discover which may assist the defendant. ‘Non-disclosure is a potent source of injustice and even with the benefit of hindsight, it will often be difficult to say whether or not an undisclosed item of evidence might have shifted the balance or opened up a new line of defence.’
It was wrong to limit what was to be disclosed to merely what was relevant: ‘An incident of a defendant’s right to a fair trial is a right to timely disclosure by the prosecution of all material matters which affect the scientific case relied on by the prosecution, that is, whether such matters strengthen or weaken the prosecution case or assist the defence case. This duty exists whether or not a specific request for disclosure of details of scientific evidence is made by the defence. Moreover, this duty is continuous: it applies not only in the pre-trial period but also throughout the trial’ and ‘We would emphasise that ‘all relevant evidence of help to the accused’ is not limited to evidence which will obviously advance the accused’s case. It is of help to the accused to have the opportunity of considering all the material evidence which the prosecution have gathered, and from which the prosecution have made their own selection of evidence to be led.’
As to the statement in Hennessy: ‘That statement reflects the position in 1974 no less than today. We would emphasise that ‘all relevant evidence of help to the accused’ is not limited to evidence which will obviously advance the accused’s case. It is of help to the accused to have the opportunity of considering all the material evidence which the prosecution have gathered, and from which the prosecution have made their own selection of evidence to be led. We believe that in practice the importance of disclosing unused material has been much more clearly recognised by prosecutors since the publication of the Attorney-General’s guidelines. The current Code of Conduct of the Bar (1991), Annexe H, ‘Written Standards for the Conduct of Professional work, Standards Applicable to Criminal Cases,’ para. 1.2, reflecting the words of Lawton L.J. which we have quoted, provides:
‘Prosecuting counsel should bear in mind at all times whilst he is instructed that he is responsible for the presentation and general conduct of the case and that it is his duty to ensure that all relevant evidence is either presented by the prosecution or made available to the defence.”
Glidewell LJ
Gazette 15-Jul-1992, [1993] 1 WLR 619, (1993) 96 Cr App Rep 1
Criminal Appeal Act 1968 2(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Hennessy (Timothy) 1978
The court described the duty on a prosecutor to disclose evidence: ‘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 by them or made available to the . .
ApprovedRegina 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 . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina v H; Regina v C HL 5-Feb-2004
Use of Special Counsel as Last Resort Only
The accused faced charges of conspiring to supply Class A drugs. The prosecution had sought public interest immunity certificates. Special counsel had been appointed by the court to represent the defendants’ interests at the applications.
CitedRegina v Keane CACD 15-Mar-1994
Public Interest Immunity Certificates for the protection of informants must be used only carefully. The Crown must specify the purpose of the public interest immunity certificate. The principles on disclosure in Ward are not limited to scientific . .
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 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 . .
CitedTaylor and Others v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others HL 29-Oct-1998
The defendant had requested the Isle of Man authorities to investigate the part if any taken by the plaintiff in a major fraud. No charges were brought against the plaintiff, but the documents showing suspicion came to be disclosed in the later . .
CitedTaylor and Others v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others HL 29-Oct-1998
The defendant had requested the Isle of Man authorities to investigate the part if any taken by the plaintiff in a major fraud. No charges were brought against the plaintiff, but the documents showing suspicion came to be disclosed in the later . .
CitedRegina v Mushtaq HL 21-Apr-2005
The defendant was convicted of fraud charges. He sought to have excluded statements made in interview on the basis that they had been obtained by oppressive behaviour by the police. His wife was very seriously ill in hospital and he had made the . .
CitedRegina 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 . .
CitedRegina v Alibhai and Others CACD 30-Mar-2004
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute counterfeit Microsoft products. They said that inadequate disclosure had been provided by Microsoft. The principal witness was a participating informant . .
CitedH, Regina v (Interlocutory application: Disclosure) HL 28-Feb-2007
The trial judge had refused an order requested at a preparatory hearing by the defence for the disclosure of documents held by the prosecutor. The House was now asked whether a right of appeal existed against such a refusal.
Held: The practice . .
CitedMielll, Regina v CACD 21-Dec-2007
The prosecutor appealed from the acquittal of the defendant on a charge of murder. He had subsequently been said to have admitted to the offence while in prison on other offences.
Held: The confessions did amount to new evidence within the . .
CitedSecretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Doffman and Another ChD 11-Oct-2010
The defendants applied for directors’ disqualification proceedings for the claim to be struck out or dismissed on the ground that the respondent had breached their rights to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights . .
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 April 2021; Ref: scu.88257