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Court makes declaration on a closed material application in judicial review proceedings challenging a decision not to prosecute

Belhaj v DPP [2017] EWHC 3056 (Admin)

Related Member(s):
Helen Law, Clare Montgomery QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Public Law
Court:

The court had jurisdiction to make a declaration on a closed material application under the Justice and Security Act 2013, s 6 in judicial review proceedings challenging a decision not to prosecute. Although the case was not an appeal “in” criminal proceedings, since its outcome would not decide criminal liability, the words “criminal cause or matter” in s 6(11) were to be interpreted broadly.

Further, the Court acknowledged that there was a paradox in that “the effect of the extension of the JSA 2013 to proceedings such as these is that the executive, in the form of the prosecuting authorities, can be held to account by judicial process. What is described by the Claimants as an encroachment on their fundamental rights in fact enfranchises informed and detailed scrutiny by the Courts, which would otherwise be impossible”.

Clare Montgomery QC and Helen Law were involved in this case.