Stratton, Regina (On the Application of) v Waltham Forest Magistrates Court: Admn 1 Jul 2009

The defendant sought judcial review of a decision that he should stand trial on a charge of producing cannabis. He said that having been offered and having refused a caution three times, it was an abuse of process now to prosecute him. He said that the cannabis would have been for his own personal and medical use, and that it the law was discriminatory when more dangerous drugs were permitted to be supplied and used. He contrasted the policy taken by the government with that of its advisory council.
Held: The arguments were complex and there was no clear conflict as alleged, and ‘The Magistrates’ Court, as he acknowledges, does not have any jurisdiction to declare, as incompatible with human rights, the legislation in question. In my judgment, the arguments which he puts forward do not begin to amount to a case for incompatibility, or for a case that any decision to prosecute is contrary to his human rights. What he has done is articulately to set out a particular policy position which he would prefer the Government to adopt, but which, thus far, it has not adopted. In my judgment that is not the business of this court and I have no hesitation in deciding that this is an unarguable challenge and that permission ought to be refused.’


Leveson LJ, Wilkie J


[2009] EWHC 2457 (Admin)




Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 4(1)


England and Wales

Criminal Practice

Updated: 04 August 2022; Ref: scu.376006