Supreme Court re-writes the law of joint enterprise

The Supreme Court has, today, handed down a landmark judgment, correcting a 30-year-old error in the law of criminal joint enterprise.  Five members of Doughty Street Chambers acted in R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8. 

 

The Supreme Court has held that mere foresight of an accomplice’s intention is not enough to prove guilt against a secondary party to an offence. In blunt language, the Court decided that the Privy Council made an error in a 1984 case (Chan Wing Siu), and the law has taken a wrong turn ever since. Jogee restores intention to commit crime as the true determinant of liability for all those involved in an offence.

 

This is a momentous decision for the often young and vulnerable people who find themselves caught up in violent incidents, with no control over the outcome, and face criminal prosecution on slender evidence of actual participation. It offers hope to many who have already been convicted under joint enterprise.

 

Tim Moloney QC and Jude Bunting represented JENGbA an organisation that has led the campaign for reform of the law of joint enterprise. Francis FitzGibbon QC, Caoilfhionn Gallagher and Daniella Waddoup (together with Joanne Cecil of Garden Court Chambers) were instructed by Just For Kids Law a legal charity that provides support, advice, and legal representation for young people in difficulty.

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