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Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2021

Late August 2021

Welcome to the Blackstone’s Criminal Practice fortnightly updates. The following developments occurred between 1st – 15th August 2021.

Part D: Procedure

Part D Procedure

D3 Courts, Parties and Abuse of Process

D3.122: Open Justice: The General Rule that Proceedings Should be in Open Court

Cornea v Romania [2021] EWHC 2373 (Admin); [2021] 8 WLUK 158

The case concerned an application for bail in relation to extradition. Bail had been refused in the magistrates’ court and was being considered afresh in the High Court. The hearing was held remotely over Microsoft teams. The hearing was expected to occur at 9:05. However, the cause list had recorded the hearing as occurring at 9:30. The hearing commenced at 9:15 when the parties were ready. The one member of the legal press who had contacted the court about observing had been contacted by the clerk and informed of the earlier start time. No other persons had sought to observe the hearing. Nevertheless, the ruling was to be made available in the public domain. The hearing had been recorded and a transcript would be available. Therefore, for these reasons, the open justice principle had been complied with in this case.

D31 Extradition

D31.22 Bars to Extradition: No Prosecution Decision

Killoran v Belgium [2021] EWHC 2290 (Admin): considers the correct interpretation of "decision to try" in the Extradition Act 2003, s. 12A.

Where a requested person's extradition had been sought by Belgium for alleged human trafficking offences, Parliamentary materials were not admissible under the rule in Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart [1993] A.C. 593 in support of the interpretation of the words "decision to try" in the Extradition Act 2003, s. 12A as meaning "trial ready". The Belgian public prosecutor had said that the requested person would be tried, and there were no reasonable grounds for believing that a decision to try had not been made.

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