Edwin Buckett successfully resists PACE appeal challenge in the High Court

News

25/04/2019

In a reserved judgment handed down on the 26th April 2019, Mr Justice Murray dismissed the Claimant’s appeal in the lengthy on-going case of Westminster College of Computing v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1036 (QB).

The Claimant sought to challenge the decision of the Master who struck out the Claimant’s claim for breaches of Sections 16(6) and 16(7) of PACE, which were alleged to have occurred when a search warrant was executed at commercial premises by police. The Claimant argued that the Master was wrong to strike the allegations out on the basis that Bhatti v Croydon Magistrates’ Court [2011] 1 WLR 948 required strict compliance by police with the requirements of Sections 15 and 16 during warrant searches and that failure to comply would render the search unlawful.

The police argued that not only did the Claimant fail to provide sufficient evidence which could contradict the police account that such breaches did not occur, but also that the “Lumba” principle applied. This stemmed from the recent Court of Appeal decision in Parker v Chief Constable of Essex [2018] EWCA Civ 2788, in which the Lumba principle was considered to apply to a false imprisonment claim resulting from an unlawful arrest, resulting in nominal damages, in circumstances where had the police acted lawfully at the time, there would have been grounds to arrest.

Mr Justice Murray rejected the Claimants appeal on the sufficiency of evidence ground alone. In doing so he decided that it was not necessary to decide whether the Lumba principle could apply to breaches of Sections 15 and 16 of PACE although he stated that this was an attractive argument.

The point will need to be determined at some point in the future as the tension between Bhatti and Parker, insofar as it applies to warrant cases, has to be resolved.

Edwin was instructed by Matt Smith of Plexus Law (Manchester).

Featured Counsel

Edwin Buckett

Call 1988

Latest News & Events

The Dekagram: 20th May 2024

We trust that our readers have been enjoying the Spring sunshine; the team have spent their time in the sun wisely, reading cases so you don’t have to. First we noted a decision which considers the interplay between English and Scottish guardianship; secondly we read…

The Dekagram: 13th May 2024

Last week brought the news that the Australian airline Qantas and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have agreed to resolve their dispute over cancelled flights by asking the court to impose a $100 million fine, together with an undertaking by the airline to pay…

Max Melsa appears in Court of Appeal in Re D (Children: Interim Care Order: Hair Strand Testing) [2024] EWCA Civ 498

Max Melsa represented the children, through their Children’s Guardian, in the first case to reach the Court of Appeal specifically dealing with the interpretation of Hair-Strand Tests in care proceedings. The appeal was made by the mother against the interim separation of three children from…

Subscribe to our mailing list

Deka Chambers: 5 Norwich Street, London EC4A 1DR

© Deka Chambers 2024

Search

Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Portfolio
Title Type CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)