The defendants were charged after pasting up in telephone booths advertisements for homosexual services. They published a magazine with similar advertisements. The House was asked to confirm the existence of an offence of outraging public decency. Held: There now exists no power in the courts to create new criminal offences. A new criminal offence could … Continue reading Regina v Knuller (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd; Knuller etc v Director of Public Prosecutions: HL 1972
The Court considered that for a defendant to justify his possession of a metal bar on a public highway he had to show that there was an imminent particular threat affecting the particular circumstances in which the weapon was carried. Citations:  3 All ER 412 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Cited by: Cited – Director … Continue reading Evans v Hughes: QBD 1972
Ashworth J said: ‘The argument for the appellants appeared to involve the proposition that an indictment, in order to be defective, must be one which in law did not charge any offence at all and therefore is bad on the face of it. We do not take that view. In our opinion, any alteration in … Continue reading Regina v Johal and Ram: 1972
The garage, had negotiated with the insurers and entered into a written agreement with them on their printed forms to repair cars of the insured clients. When the insurer failed, they sought to recover payment from the car owners. Held: The owner of the car as only liable in respect of the excess and other … Continue reading Brown v Davis and Galbraith: 1972
The judge’s discretion to exclude a statement on the ground that its admission would be unfair is a matter of degree, but the first and principal decision is whether the prosecution has proved that it was made voluntarily. The court discussed what would be ‘oppressive’ in questioning by the police, and adopted part of a … Continue reading Regina v Prager: CACD 1972
The deceased had been shot by soldiers of the British Army whilst in a car in Northern Ireland. The car was alleged to have ‘run’ a checkpoint. The claimants said the investigation, now 20 years ago, had been inadequate. The claim was brought under human rights law, but predated by many years the incorporation of … Continue reading In re McKerr (Northern Ireland): HL 11 Mar 2004
The plaintiff attended a jalopy car race and was injured. It was a condition of his entry that he agreed that motor racing was dangerous and that he would not hold the organisers or others responsible if injured. He was injured when a safety rope, snagged by a car, caught and then threw him some … Continue reading White v Blackmore: CA 15 Jun 1972
The House gave guidance how it would treat an invitation to depart from a previous decision of the House. Such a course was possible, but the direction was not an ‘open sesame’ for a differently constituted committee to prefer their views to those of the committee which determined the decision unanimously or by a majority. … Continue reading Practice Statement (Judicial Precedent): HL 1966
The House considered whether it would have power to make a ruling with prospective effect only. Lord Diplock said the matter deserved further consideration; Lord Simon said that the possibility of prospective overruling should be seriously . .
1267 – 1278 – 1285 – 1297 – 1361 – 1449 – 1491 – 1533 – 1677 – 1688 – 1689 – 1700 – 1706 – 1710 – 1730 – 1737 – 1738 – 1751 – 1774 – 1792 – 1793 – 1804 – 1814 – 1819 – 1824 – 1828 – 1831 – 1832 … Continue reading Acts
Mrs Carrick was a widow who orally agreed with her brother in law, a builder, to sell her house and pay him the proceeds, for which he would provide her with a new house. She did so and moved into the new house, which remained in the brother-in-law’s name; later he mortgaged it to the … Continue reading Lloyds Bank Plc v Carrick and Another: CA 17 Apr 1996
The claimant was trustee in bankruptcy but the court failed to register the bankruptcy petition at the Land Registry as a pending action. The bankrupt was therefore able to sell her land, and the trustee did not recover the proceeds. The trustee sought to recover from the defendant who was responsible for the court service. … Continue reading Poulton v Ministry of Justice: CA 22 Apr 2010
The applicant sought leave to appeal out of time against the dismissal of his claim as an abuse of process, being an attempt to relitigate a lost case. He claimed to have had an interest in a house formerly occupied as a matrimonial property. The . .
The applicant appealed an order for the removal of a land charge. As tenant of a flat, he had fallen into dispute with the management company. Proceedings were under way for the lease to be forfeited, and in the meantime his lender obtained a . .
The court was asked: ‘whether the Secretary of State was precluded under the British Nationality Act 1981 from making an order depriving the appellant of British citizenship because to do so would render him stateless. This turns on whether (within the meaning of article 1(1) of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless … Continue reading Pham v Secretary of State for The Home Department: SC 25 Mar 2015
Mrs Nolan had been employed at a US airbase. When it closed, and she was made redundant, she complained that the appellant had not consulted properly on the redundancies. The US denied that it had responsibility to consult, and now appealed. Held: The appeal failed (Lord Carnworth dissenting). That the exact situation might not have … Continue reading The United States of America v Nolan: SC 21 Oct 2015
The defendants had been convicted on evidence obtained from them by inspectors with statutory powers to require answers on pain of conviction. Subsequently the law changed to find such activity an infringement of a defendant’s human rights. Held: There was no requirement for a court to implement a Human Rights Court decision retrospectively to require … Continue reading Regina v Lyons, Parnes, Ronson, Saunders: HL 15 Nov 2002
The defendant was stopped pushing a motor-cycle along the road. It had been adapted for scrambling, and the registration plates lights and speedometer had been removed. He argued that it was no longer a motor vehicle ‘adapted or intended for use on a public road’. The prosecutor appealed against the magistrates finding that they had … Continue reading Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary v Fleming: QBD 1987
Lion Laboratories manufactured and marketed the Lion Intoximeter which was used by the police for measuring blood alcohol levels of motorists. Two ex-employees approached the Press with four documents taken from Lion. The documents indicated that the Lion Intoximeter had faults which could have resulted in a significant number of motorists being wrongly convicted. Lion … Continue reading Lion Laboratories Ltd v Evans: CA 1985
The offence in section 5 does not require proof that a defendant is likely to drive when accused of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs: ‘In regard to that section two broad propositions are clear. First, the offence of being ‘in charge’ is the lowest in the scale … Continue reading Director of Public Prosecutions v Watkins: QBD 1989
Blackmail was alleged under section 21 of the 1968 Act, the letter making the unwarranted demand with menaces having been posted from England to an intended victim in Germany. Held: The appeal was dismissed. To allow an English court to have jurisdiction where elements of the offence occurred abroad, the last act constituting the actus … Continue reading Treacy v Director of Public Prosecutions: HL 1970
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent lender of its property rights. It was also argued that it was not possible to make a declaration … Continue reading Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2): HL 10 Jul 2003
The respondent was employed as a shot firer in a quarry, and was to test the electric wiring connecting explosive charges. Contrary to instructions that testing must be done from a shelter, the respondent and another shot firer carried out a test in the open and they were both injured. Held: The employer’s appeal succeeded. … Continue reading Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd v Shatwell: HL 6 Jul 1964
A diesel tank was in a yard which drained into a river. It was surrounded by a bund to contain spillage, but that protection was over ridden by an extension pipe from the tank to a drum outside the bund. Someone opened a tap on that pipe so that diesel flowed into the drum until … Continue reading Empress Car Company (Abertillery) Ltd v National Rivers Authority: HL 22 Jan 1998
The prisoner challenged the decision to place him in segregation under Prison Rule 43. Under rule 43(1) the initial power to segregate was given to ‘the governor’. The case arose from the fact that the governor of one prison had purported to authorise the segregation of a prisoner on his arrival at another prison to … Continue reading Regina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office: HL 24 Jul 1991
Europa Legislation on the export of potatoes from Jersey to the United Kingdom – 1972 Act of Accession – Protocol No 3 on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – Regulation No 706/73 – Articles 23 EC, 25 EC and 29 EC – Charges having an effect equivalent to customs duties – Measures … Continue reading Jersey Produce Marketing Organisation (New Accessions): ECJ 8 Nov 2005
Identification of Company’s Directing Mind In a prosecution under the 1968 Act, the court discussed how to identify the directing mind and will of a company, and whether employees remained liable when proper instructions had been given to those in charge of a local store. Held: ‘In the expression ‘act or default’ in section 23 … Continue reading Tesco Supermarkets Ltd v Nattrass: HL 31 Mar 1971
The claimant sought damages against the police for assault, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution arising from an arrest for a suspected drink-driving offence. He was acquitted of charges of assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty and failing to give a sample under the Road Traffic Act 1972. The police … Continue reading Dickinson v Yates: CA 27 Nov 1986
The court reconsidered the law relating to penalty clauses in contracts. The first appeal, Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi, raised the issue in relation to two clauses in a substantial commercial contract. The second appeal, ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis, raised the issue at a consumer level, with a separate issue under the … Continue reading Cavendish Square Holding Bv v Talal El Makdessi; ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis: SC 4 Nov 2015
Humphrys was charged with driving while disqualified. The issue was the correctness of the identification by a police constable. In evidence, Humphrys denied that he was the driver, or indeed that he had driven any car during the year in question. He was acquitted. Later he was charged with perjury said to arise from his … Continue reading Director of Public Prosecutions v Humphrys: HL 1977
The defendant published a film showing the claimant involved in sex acts with prostitutes. It characterised them as ‘Nazi’ style. He was the son of a fascist leader, and a chairman of an international sporting body. He denied any nazi element, and claimed in breach of confidence. Held: ‘The law [of confidence] now affords protection … Continue reading Mosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd: QBD 24 Jul 2008
The appellant, a boy aged 15, had been warned as to admitted indecent assaults on girls. He complained that it had not been explained to him that the result would be that his name would be placed on the sex offenders register. The Chief Constable appealed a decision that this was an interference in his … Continue reading R, Regina (on the Application of) v Durham Constabulary and Another: HL 17 Mar 2005
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The bank sought to have the direction given under section 7 of the 2008 Act. … Continue reading Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2): SC 19 Jun 2013
The parties had arbitrated their dispute in London under a bilateral investment treaty between the US and Ecuador. The republic sought to appeal the arbitration. The applicant now appealed an order that the English High Court had jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Held: The appeal was dismissed. The treaty was intended to encourage bilateral trading … Continue reading Occidental Exploration and Production Company vRepublic of Ecuador: CA 9 Sep 2005
What makes a road a Road? The Court was asked whether a Road was a ‘road’ for the purposes of the 1984 Act’ Held: It has often been said that the public access mentioned in the definition of ‘road’ must be both actual access and legal or lawful access. However, simple reference to a requirement … Continue reading Bowen and Others v Isle of Wight Council: ChD 3 Dec 2021
Motoring offences under the 1972 Act were alleged. Justices dismissed the charges on the ground that the driving had not been proved to be on a ‘road’ within the statutory definition. Held: The prosecutor’s appeal succeeded. the Divisional Court remitted the case to the justices to clarify their findings of fact and their reasoning. Kilner … Continue reading Cox v White: QBD 1976
Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were accordingly justified in law. Held: The law on … Continue reading Regina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others: HL 29 Mar 2006
Diplomatic Protection Lost to Public Domain The claimant challenged the use of a Marine Protected Area Order to exclude the Chagossians from their homelands on their British Indian Overseas Territory. They had sought to have admitted and used in cross examination of witnesses leaked diplomatic material which they said would show that the decision to … Continue reading Bancoult, Regina (on The Application of) (No 3) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: SC 8 Feb 2018
Appeals were brought complaining as to the apparent reversal of the burden of proof in road traffic cases and in cases under the Terrorism Acts. Was a legal or an evidential burden placed on a defendant? Held: Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: ‘The overriding concern is that a trial should be fair, and the presumption … Continue reading Sheldrake v Director of Public Prosecutions; Attorney General’s Reference No 4 of 2002: HL 14 Oct 2004
The defendant was convicted of murder. Evidence during the trial suggested a possibility of manslaughter, but neither the defence nor prosecution proposed the alternate verdict. The defendant now appealed saying that the judge had an independent duty to leave that option to the jury. Held: The appeal succeeded. The judge should have left a manslaughter … Continue reading Regina v Coutts: HL 19 Jul 2006
Identifying ‘maandatory’ and ‘regulatory’ The appellants had sought a Certificate of Alternative Development. The certificate provided was defective in that it did not notify the appellants, as required, of their right to appeal. Their appeal out of time was refused. Held: The House considered the consequences of a failure to comply with a procedural requirement, … Continue reading London and Clydeside Estates v Aberdeen District Council: HL 8 Nov 1979
The plaintiff church sued the defendant, a Member of Parliament, for remarks made by the defendant in a television programme. He pleaded fair comment and the plaintiff replied with a plea of malice, relying on statements made in Parliament. The question arose at trial whether such reliance infringed Article 9. Held: It did. The plaintiff … Continue reading Church of Scientology of California v Johnson-Smith: QBD 1971
The applicants challenged their convictions and sentences for conspiracy to corrupt. They owned a company manufacturing fuel additives. Technology developments meant that they came under increasing pressure on sales. They were said to have entered into corrupt agreemets to boost sales, sweetener payments being said to have been made by their agents. They complained that … Continue reading Serious Fraud Office v Papachristos and Another: CACD 19 Sep 2014
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations contained the entire regime. Held: Criminal conduct at common law or by statute can constitute unlawful means … Continue reading Total Network Sl v Revenue and Customs: HL 12 Mar 2008
The claimant sought equal pay with other, male, warehouse operatives who were doing work of equal value but for more money. The Court of Appeal had held that since other men were also employed on the same terms both as to pay and work, her claim failed. Held: The claim was not disbarred in this … Continue reading Pickstone v Freemans Plc: HL 30 Jun 1988
(Hong Kong) The defendant was charged with aiding and abetting a murder. A, carrying a length of water pipe and accompanied by the defendant and four other youths, seized a man and A hit him with the pipe, causing injuries from which he died. No witness saw the defendant hit the man, who was an … Continue reading Hui Chi-ming v The Queen: PC 5 Aug 1991
Defamation of Labour MP by Unite and Blogger The claimant now a former MP had alleged that a posting on a website supported by the first defendant was false and defamatory. The posting suggested that the claimant had acted dishonestly in applying online for a category of membership of the union. The defendants pursued defences … Continue reading Turley v Unite The Union and Another: QBD 19 Dec 2019
It was alleged that the defendant had tampered with a sample of wheat to be used in an arbitration, and he was accused of perverting the course of justice. Held: Perverting the course of justice is a common law offence covering a wide variety of situations. The offence was committed when a person does an … Continue reading Regina v Vreones: 1891
The defendants appealed against convictions for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour . . within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. He had attended a parade celebrating the return of an army regiment from Afghanistan, but had demonstrated against the war. … Continue reading Abdul and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 16 Feb 2011
The claimant pursued a civil claim for damages, alleging complicity of the respondent in his torture whilst in the custody of foreign powers. The respondent sought that certain materials be available to the court alone and not to the claimant or the public under a closed material procedure. It argued that whilst the need for … Continue reading Al Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others: SC 13 Jul 2011
Each claimant had been captured and mistreated by the US government, and claimed the involvement in and responsibility for that mistreatment by the respondents. The court was asked whether a court in England and Wales, in the absence of statutory authority, could order a closed material procedure for part or all of the trial of … Continue reading Al Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others: CA 4 May 2010
The defendants had had confiscation orders made against them. They had appealed on the basis that the orders were made more than six months after sentence. The prosecutor now appealed saying that the fact that the order were not timely did not invalidate them. Held: The appeal was allowed. The confiscation orders made by the … Continue reading Regina v Soneji and Bullen: HL 21 Jul 2005
The claimant, displaced from the Chagos Archipelago, challenged a decision by the respondent to create a no-take Marine Protected Area arround the island which would make life there impossible if he and others returned. The respondent renewed his objection to the use of leaked materials, saying that this would be a breach of the Official … Continue reading Bancoult, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Admn 11 Jun 2013
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this. Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not proved that the smoking of cigarettes was the cause of the lung cancer, and it was … Continue reading McTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd: OHCS 31 May 2005
The House was asked to consider whether there existed the crime of a conspiracy to commit a public mischief. Held: There was no such crime, since it was so undefined as to be unfair to any defendant. Although at common law no clear distinction was originally drawn between conspiracies to ‘cheat’ and conspiracies to ‘defraud … Continue reading Director of Public Prosecution v Withers: HL 20 Nov 1974
The court considered the limits on a power of expulsion from a partnership.
Held: (Page-Wood V-C) Construing the articles, two-thirds of the partners could expel a partner by serving a notice upon him without holding any meeting or giving any . .
The court considered the conditions under which the respondent authority replied to all enquiries as to properties within its area. The replies were given by a standardised all inclusive information sheet derived from a central database. The . .
The parties had married, but the male partner was a transsexual, having been born female and having undergone treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria. After IVF treatment, the couple had a child. As the marriage broke down the truth was revealed in . .
Three local authorities disputed whether a contract had been made between them, and if so its terms, as to the financial support of a leisure centre.
Held: Later legislation need not frustrate agreement between the parties.
Hirts LJ said: . .
The defendants protested the growing of genetically modified crops. The prosecutor appealed dismissal of charges of aggravated trespass for them having entered a crop and attached themselves to tractors. The district judge decided they had genuine . .
The Court upheld a conviction in respect of an Appellant who had been convicted of three offences on a six-count indictment. He was acquitted of the other three. In respect of each of the six counts the Prosecution relied upon the uncorroborated . .
A claim was lodged against a former president as well as the current secretary of the European Commission of Human Rights. The former president, Sir Humphrey Waldock, was under the 1960 Order entitled to ‘the like immunity from legal process as is . .
The claimant alleged complicity by the defendant, (now former) Foreign Secretary, in his mistreatment by the US while held in Libya. He also alleged involvement in his unlawful abduction and removal to Libya, from which had had fled for political . .
When the Applicant appeared before the Justices, his solicitor submitted that the Justices should acknowledge that they were aware that in addition to the matter which they were about to try (that is to say an offence of criminal damage against a . .
Solicitors sought to challenge an order disallowing a costs item for the administration of an estate which included a percentage of the estate.
Held: Despite advances in time recording, ‘we see no reason to say that it is no longer appropriate . .
The defendant had been convicted of publishing obscene articles for gain under the Act. He lived in London, and published a web site which was stored or hosted abroad, containing pornographic items. The investigating officer had called up the . .
The defendant appealed aganst his conviction for conspiracy to engage in moneylaundering. At trial he pleaded guilty subject to a qualification that he had not known that the money was the proceeds of crime, though he may have suspected that it . .
The defendant appealed his convictions for offences relating to the claiming of benefits, saying that he was immune from prosecution as a member of the European Parliament, and that the verdicts were inconsistent with acquittals on other charges. . .
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 . .
The defendant did not appear at the trial and now appealed the judgment. The claim form and court papers had been served by post at the wrong address. The question was whether a defendant wanting to set aside a judgment was required to persuade the . .
The claimant had been injured in a road traffic accident for which the defendant was responsible in negligence. The defendant was not insured, and so a claim was to be made against the MIB. The plaintiff issued proceedings just before the expiry of . .
The appellant had been sentenced to life for firearms offences. After a successfully appeal, a retrial was ordered. More than two years had passed, after a previous attempt failed for absent witnesses.
Held: Referred to the US decision in . .
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 . .
Each defendant appealed sentences where he had committed a series of offences and the sentence had been for specimen acts.
Held: When choosing representative offences a prosecutor should be careful to try to give the court a proper picture of . .