Life sentence for murder despite not laying a single finger on a victim?

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Joint enterprise is an issue that has troubled the courts and lawyers for years. A legal principle that can ultimately lead to a defendant receiving a life sentence for murder despite not laying a single finger on a victim, is always going to welcome debate. The Supreme Court and Privvy Council have again been required to give the issue of joint enterprise and specifically the courts interpretation of guidance in relation to it, careful consideration.

The judgement in the case of Rv Jogee ; Ruddock v The Queen [2016] UKSC 8 and [2016] UKPC 7 has this week been issued and is a must read for lawyers, law students and those interested in the court system. The legal issue in these cases concerned the mental element of intent which must be proved when a defendant is accused of being a secondary party to a crime. The question of law was whether the common law took a wrong turning in two cases, Chan Wing-Siu v The Queen [1985 1 AC 168 and Regina v Powell and English [1999] 1 AC 1.

 

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