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 plaintiff claimed that the interception had been and was unlawful. Held: Although he dismissed the plaintiff’s claim, the … Continue reading Malone v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis (No 2): ChD 28 Feb 1979
The police had unlawfully intercepted telephone calls made by the defendant. Held: The evidence had been properly admitted notwithstanding its unlawful origins. Judges: Steyn LJ Citations:  95 Cr App 427, Times 23-Mar-1992 Statutes: Interception of Communications Act 1985 9 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Citing: Appealed to – Regina v Effik; Regina v Mitchell HL … Continue reading Regina v Effik; Same v Micthell: CACD 23 Mar 1992
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 authorisation and carrying out of official intercepts. Evidence obtained mught be used to suggest further … Continue reading Regina v Preston, Preston, Clarke Etc: HL 5 Nov 1993
Recordings of calls intercepted in Florida were admissible. The Interception of Communications Act doesn’t apply to exclude them. Citations: Ind Summary 21-Nov-1994 Statutes: Interception of Communications Act 1985 9 Criminal Evidence Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.85833
The defendant argued that once the prosecutor had all the material on which the prosecution was eventually brought, then for the purposes of section 11(2) time began to run. Held: When considering the time limits for a prosecution under the Act, the officer investigating is the prosecutor, until the case is taken over by the … Continue reading Morgans v Director of Public Prosecutions: QBD 29 Dec 1998
Each appellant complained of the disclosure by the respondent of very old and minor offences to potential employers, destroying prospects of finding work. Two statutory schemes were challenged, raising two separate questions, namely whether any interference with Article 8 ECHR is: (1) ‘in accordance with the law’ (‘the legality test’) and (2) ‘necessary in a … Continue reading Gallagher for Judicial Review (NI): SC 30 Jan 2019
Offence must be ;in accordance with law’ 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 the common law rules were so uncertain … Continue reading The Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom: ECHR 26 Apr 1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur. Held: The appeal failed. There is no defence of entrapment in English law. All evidence which is relevant is prima facie admissible in a criminal trial, although the trial judge has a discretion … Continue reading Regina v Sang: HL 25 Jul 1979
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. Buxton LJ, Blofield J Tucker QC HHJ Times 11-Nov-1998,  2 Cr App R 59,  EWCA Crim … Continue reading Regina v Owen; Regina v Stephen: CACD 11 Nov 1998
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 his rights of privacy as enshrined in articles 6 and 8 of the Convention. Held: There … Continue reading Regina v Khan (Sultan): HL 2 Jul 1996
The material obtained by intercepting signals passing between a base unit and the handset of a cordless telephone was admissible because no communication was being made by means of a public system when the calls were intercepted by the police. A cordless phone in house was not ‘comprised in’ nor part of a public telecommunications … Continue reading Regina v Effik; Regina v Mitchell: HL 22 Jul 1994
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 . .
The tapping of telephone calls within a police station switchboard was outside the scope of the Act, since the calls were not intercepted whilst the communications were being carried on a public telecommunications system. . .
An intercept of a pager message between its transmission from the local land station to the pager was not unlawful. Such communications are not protected by a provision restricting interception of messages emanating from abroad. . .
Evidence from telephone taps cannot be obtained for prosecution, and were inadmissible in court having been obtained unfairly. . .
A recorded prisoner’s telephone call from prison was admissible in evidence without the defence having any right to challenge where the interceptor established a presumption of consent to the interception because of warnings given to prisoners. . .
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Each defendant appealed against convictions associated variously with the cultivation or possession of cannabis resin. They sought to plead medical necessity. There had been medical recommendations to move cannabis to the list of drugs which might be prescribed by a doctor, but this had been rejected. Held: The appeals failed. There was no over-arching principle … Continue reading Quayle and others v Regina, Attorney General’s Reference (No. 2 of 2004): CACD 27 May 2005
When a telephone engineer used his position to make unauthorised telephone intercepts, and produced apparent evidence of criminal activity, he was, under the Act, a person engaged in providing a public communications system, and the recordings were not admissible. The phrase ‘engaged in’ could refer either to his status, or that the act was part … Continue reading Regina v Sargent: HL 25 Oct 2001
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 communication took place. Held: Intercepts of telephone calls, including call logs, are inadmissible unless they have been … Continue reading Morgans v Director of Public Prosecutions: HL 18 Feb 2000
The authorities intercepted telephone conversations on card phones used by prisoners with people outside the prison. Was the intercepted material admissible? Was it a ‘communication in the course of its transmission . . by means of a public telecommunications system’ ? The lines came into the prison from the BT network. They ran to a … Continue reading Regina v Allan, Bunting and Boodhoo: CACD 6 Apr 2001
Liberty complained that the interception of their communications under the 1985 Act between 1990 and 1997 had infringed their article 8 rights, since the Act was insufficiently clear. Held: The infringements were established. The mere existence of legislation which allowed communications to be monitored secretly had entailed a surveillance threat for all those to whom … Continue reading Liberty And Others v United Kingdom: ECHR 1 Jul 2008
Course of Transmission includes Voicemails The defendants appealed against convictions for conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemail messages whilst employed in various positions in newspapers. The issue boiled down to when the ‘course of transmission’ of a voicemail message ended, that is whether a voicemail message which was saved by the recipient on the voicemail facility … Continue reading Edmondson and Others v Regina: CACD 28 Jun 2013
(Grand Chamber) The applicants complained that on being arrested on suspicion of offences, samples of their DNA had been taken, but then despite being released without conviction, the samples had retained on the Police database. Held: (Unanimous) The retention was unlawful. Though other member states retained some DNA samples in certain conditions, the UK was … Continue reading Marper v United Kingdom; S v United Kingdom: ECHR 4 Dec 2008
Duress as Defence not closely Defined The defendant had been a member of MI5. He had signed the Official Secrets Act, but then disclosed various matters, including material obtained by interceptions under the Interception of Communications Act. He claimed that his disclosures were made in the public interest. He appealed against a judgment that the … Continue reading Regina v Shayler: CACD 28 Sep 2001
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, . .
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 . .