Case Previews: R v O’Brien, R (T & Anor) v SSHD & Anor, and R v Mackle (Nos. 1, 2 and 3), and R v McLaughlin
23 Thursday Jan 2014
R v O’Brien, heard 5 December 2013.
Court of Appeal judgment:  EWCA Civ 501
The appellant was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over an alleged scheme designed to cheat investors. A restraint order was issued against the appellant under s 41 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to his assets, which was not complied with, and the appellant left the country. He was found to be in contempt of court and a bench warrant was issued. The appellant was extradited from the US pursuant to an arrest warrant in respect of the fraud offences only. The issue for the Supreme Court is whether the bench warrant should have been withdrawn, as a civil contempt is not an extraditable offence, and so in that case the rule of specialty applies. The Court will determine whether breach of a restraint order made under s 41 is a civil or criminal contempt; and if it is found to be a civil contempt, whether the Extradition Act 2003, s151A and/or art 18 of the UK- US Extradition Treaty 2003 preclude/s a court from dealing with a person for such a contempt when that person has been extradited to the UK in respect of criminal offences but not the contempt in question.
R (T & Anor) v SSHD & Anor, heard 9 – 10 December 2013.
Court of Appeal judgment:  EWCA Civ 25
The respondents in this matter both applied for enhanced criminal records checks. The first respondent’s enhanced criminal records certificate disclosed that he had received two warnings from the police when he was 11 years old, and the second respondent’s certificate disclosed a caution given for a suspected shoplifting incident in 2001. Both brought actions for judicial review, claiming that the disclosures were incompatible with the right to private life under ECHR, art 8. The Court of Appeal held that the legislative provisions in relation to the disclosure scheme (the Police Act 1997, Part V, and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023)) were incompatible with art 8, and held that it would be appropriate for Parliament to devise a new scheme.
R v Mackle (Nos. 1, 2 and 3), and R v McLaughlin, heard 11 – 12 December 2013.
Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland) judgment:  NICA 31
In these linked cases the appellants had all pleaded guilty to being involved in the fraudulent evasion of duty in relation to a cigarette smuggling operation, and each further consented to the court imposing a confiscation order of between £100,000 to £518,387 in respect to each of them. The issues for the Supreme Court concern the interpretation of the Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 art 8, and also whether a defendant is bound by the terms of a confiscation order if it is consented to (with the benefit of legal advice) in terms which make clear the Crown is not required to prove that the defendant obtained property or a pecuniary advantage in connection with the charged criminal conduct. Judgment will be handed down next week.