Law Report: Defence costs order against CPS reviewed: Regina v Wood Green Crown Court, Ex parte Director of Public Prosecutions. Queen's Bench Divisional Court (Lord Justice Mann and Mr Justice Leonard), 15 October 1992

An order requiring the Crown Prosecution Service to pay defence costs incurred after committal where no evidence was offered and a not guilty verdict entered is subject to judicial review.

The Divisional Court quashed the order of Judge Sanders at Wood Green Crown Court on 12 April 1991 that the CPS should pay the whole of the defence costs incurred after committal in the case of R v Brealey, Aram and Lee.

In May 1990, the defendants were committed for trial at Wood Green. Thereafter, the CPS neglected to properly prepare the prosecution case.

On 8 April 1991, the date fixed for trial, the defendants applied for the trial to be stayed as an abuse of process. The prosecution decided to offer no evidence and verdicts of not guilty were recorded.

The defendants' applications for costs were under regulation 3 of the Costs in Criminal Cases (General) Regulations 1986.

The prosecution accepted that the costs wasted on the hearing in the Crown Court were costs incurred as a result of proven improper omissions within regulation 3. Judge Sanders made the wider order.

On the prosecution's application for judicial review, the first issue was whether the Divisional Court's jurisdiction was excluded by section 29(3) of the Supreme Court 1981 because the judicial review was in relation to the Crown Court's jurisdiction 'in matters relating to trial on indictment', and the second was whether the order was flawed and should be quashed.

Philip Singer (CPS) represented the DPP.

LORD JUSTICE MANN said that the order by Judge Sanders was not a decision affecting the conduct of a trial on indictment because assuming there had been such a trial, it had been earlier concluded on the recording of verdicts of not guilty.

The question was thus narrowed to an inquiry as to whether the making of the order, although posterior, was 'so intimately bound up with the trial process that it must be treated as an integral part of it': Re Sampson (1987) 1 WLR 194.

The making of an order for costs at the conclusion of a trial was to be treated as an integral part of the trial process, and if it was adverse to the prosecutor, he would have no right of appeal while an application for judicial review would be met by the exclusion in section 29(3).

The recorded verdicts had the same effect as if the defendants had been tried and acquitted on a verdict of a jury. What occurred here plainly did not fall within the ordinary meaning of the word 'trial'. The order was not within the the exclusion of section 29(3). It might be thought strange that a similar order made after a trial would be within the exclusion but that was an inevitable consequence of the established approach to the construction of section 29(3).

As to the order, the judge had either neglected the need for a causal relationship between the CPS's act or omission and costs incurred or else had assumed that all the defendants' costs after committal were incurred as a consequence of the acts or omissions of the CPS. The order was therefore flawed and should be quashed and the applications for costs be reheard.

Mr Justice Leonard agreed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate