THE LAW ON JOINT ENTERPRISE HAS TAKEN ANOTHER WRONG TURN
In 2013, Sir Roger Toulson wrote extra judicially that “the law on complicity is an old problem which continues to give rise to frequent appeals, particularly in cases of murder.” In 2016 he sat as a member of a bench of five judges in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) in R v Jogee in which I led for the defence. That appeal was allowed, and it was decided, as we submitted on Mr Jogee’s behalf, that there had been an error of law for about 30 years in the law of complicity (known as “joint enterprise”). Many of those affected by that error remain in prison, currently without hope of release and with no meaningful audit of the prison estate.
For those convicted post Jogee, there is now a concern that the Court of Appeal has wrongly lowered the conduct element and removed causation to, once again, widen liability through another error of law.
The 2023 Crown Court Compendium legal summary is forthright as follows:
“…….the scope of the alleged joint enterprise is quintessentially a matter for the jury….”
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— Dr Felicity Gerry KC (@felicitygerry) October 22, 2023