Snooks v Attorney General

JurisdictionJersey
CourtCourt of Appeal
JudgeBailhache, Bailiff and Lord Carlisle of Bucklow and Beloff, JJ.A.:
Judgment Date26 September 1997
Date26 September 1997
COURT OF APPEAL
Bailhache, Bailiff and Lord Carlisle of Bucklow and Beloff, JJ.A.:

Mrs. S.E. Fitz for the appellant;

C.E. Whelan, Crown Advocate, and P. Matthews, Crown Advocate, for the Crown.

Cases cited:

(1) Att. Gen. v. Heywood, Guernsey Court of Appeal, January 31st, 1972, unreported, considered.

(2) Att. Gen. v. Paisnel, 1972 J.J. 2201, followed.

(3) Campbell (A.T.) v. Att. Gen., 1995 JLR 136.

(4) MacKenzie v. Att. Gen., 1995 JLR 9, dicta of Le Quesne, J.A. applied.

(5) R. v. Khan, [1997] A.C. 558; [1996] 3 All E.R. 289; [1996] 2 Cr. App. R. 440.

(6) R. v. Lawrence, [1982] A.C. 510; [1981] 1 All E.R. 974; [1981] RTR 217; [1981] Crim. L.R. 409; (1981), 73 Cr. App. R. 1; 145 J.P. 227; 145 J.P. Jo. 294; 125 Sol. Jo. 241, dicta of Lord Hailsham applied.

(7) R. v. Vye, [1993] 1 W.L.R. 471; [1993] 3 All E.R. 241; (1993), 97 Cr. App. R. 134, considered.

(8) R. v. Wood, [1996] 1 Cr. App. R. 207, considered.

Additional cases cited by counsel:

Att. Gen. v. Lavis, Royal Ct., May 16th, 1997, unreported.

Att. Gen. v. Broadbent, 1967 J.J. 803.

Att. Gen. v. Coyne, 1969 J.J. 1081.

Att. Gen. v. Venton, 1982 J.J. 1.

Att. Gen. v. Weston, 1980 J.J. 43.

Bale v. Att. Gen., C.A., February 2nd, 1984, unreported.

Goncalves v. Att. Gen., 1992 JLR N-6.

Hadjianastassiou v. Greece (1992), 16 E.H.R.R. 219.

Lapidus v. Att. Gen., C.A., September 24th, 1987, unreported.

Lundy v. Att. Gen., 1996 JLR 193.

R. v. Aziz, [1995] 3 All E.R. 149.

R. v. Brown (1981), 3 Cr. App. R. (S.) 250.

R. v. Burge, [1996] 1 Cr. App. R. 163.

R. v. Carr-Briant (1943), 29 Cr. App. R. 76.

R. v. Edwards (1983), 77 Cr. App. R. 5.

R. v. Lucas, [1981] Q.B. 720.

R. v. Marr (1989), 90 Cr. App. R. 154.

R. v. Rautamaki, [1993] Crim. L.R. 691.

R. v. Tillman, [1962] Crim. L.R. 261.

Tilley v. Att. Gen., Guernsey Court of Appeal, June 19th, 1973, unreported.

Legislation construed:

Court of Appeal (Jersey) Law 1961, art. 40: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 258, lines 16-17.

Royal Court (Jersey) Law, 1948, art. 13: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 256, line 30 - page 257, line 3.

Royal Court of Guernsey (Miscellaneous Reform Provisions) Law 1950, art. 6(4): The relevant terms of this paragraph are set out at page 260, lines 16-21.

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, November 4th, 1950; UK Treaty Series 71 (1953)), art. 6: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 258, lines 20-21.

Criminal Procedure—judge's summing-up—summing up to Jurats --preferable that judge's summing-up to Jurats at trial before Inferior Number en police correctionelle or sans enquête in open court—unnecessary to give as full directions as required for jury—directions on law and burden and standard of proof sufficient—any direction on facts to be fair in circumstances

The appellant was charged in the Royal Court with importing and with possession with intent to supply cannabis resin.

The appellant was caught importing cannabis resin into Jersey and at his trial before the Inferior Number, the Deputy Bailiff decided to sum up to the Jurats in open court rather than in chambers. The appellant was subsequently convicted on both the counts against him and sentenced to 5½ years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run concurrently.

On his appeal against conviction and his application for leave to appeal against sentence, the appellant submitted, inter alia, that although the Deputy Bailiff had been entitled to sum up to the Jurats in open court, when presiding over a trial before the Inferior Number en police correctionelle, as here, he should have given as full directions to the Jurats as he would had he been giving directions to a jury at a criminal assize; he was not entitled to abbreviate his directions on the assumption that because the Jurats were an experienced body of full-time arbiters of fact, they were in need of less help in coming to proper conclusions on the evidence; and since the Deputy Bailiff's summing-up had therefore been inadequate, the convictions were unsafe and could not stand.

The Crown submitted in reply that on the trial of an accused before the Inferior Number sitting en police correctionelle or sans enquête, the presiding judge was entitled to give his directions to the Jurats in open court and when doing so, could take into account their experience at deciding matters of fact and it was merely necessary that he gave sufficient directions regarding matters of law and that any summing-up on the facts was fair in all the circumstances; it was unnecessary that he give as full directions as he would be obliged to give to a jury.

Held, allowing the appeal in part:

(1) It was desirable that the directions to the Jurats by the presiding judge at a trial before the Inferior Number sitting en police correctionelle or sans enquête should be given in open court and not in chambers. Adopting this procedure would allow counsel to ask the judge to modify his directions at the time they were given, which was more satisfactory than the present practice of their having to wait until after the directions had been given to discover their import. Furthermore, directions given in open court would be recorded, thus facilitating appeals. Lastly, the accused would be able to hear the directions at first hand, so that justice would not only be done but also be seen to be done (page 257, line 44 - page 258, line 36).

(2) However, it was not necessary that those directions be the same as those that would be given to a jury. The judge was entitled to take into account that Jurats were experienced arbiters of fact and there was no reason why his directions should not affect the nature of his summing-up to them. In many cases it would be unnecessary to give directions on how to approach the evidence, although ordinarily a direction on the burden and standard of proof were required. The summing-up should clearly also contain full and adequate directions on relevant matters of law. Overall, it was merely necessary that the directions be fair and tailored to the facts of the case (page 260, line 29 - page 261, line 15).

BAILHACHE, BAILIFF: This is an appeal by Christopher Wayne Snooks against his conviction and an application for leave to appeal against his sentence imposed by the Inferior Number sitting en policecorrectionelle on one count of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on importation of cannabis resin contrary to art. 77(b) of the Customs and Excise (General Provisions)

(Jersey) Law 1972 and on another of possession with intent to supply that cannabis resin contrary to art. 6(2) of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978.

After hearing submissions, we allowed the appeal and quashed the conviction on the first count, dismissed the appeal against conviction on the second count, allowed the appeal against sentence and stated that we would give our reasons at a later date. This we now proceed to do.

The appellant was convicted after a three-day trial at the conclusion of which the Deputy Bailiff had taken the unusual course of summing up to the Jurats in open court rather than in chambers. This departure from the usual practice has given rise to one of the grounds of appeal. That ground of appeal does not complain of the practice followed but asserts that the Deputy Bailiff "should have abided by the same rules when summing up in open court to the Jurats as he would to a jury at a Criminal Assize."

Because the practice followed by the Deputy Bailiff breaks new procedural ground in trials before the Inferior Number sitting en policecorrectionelle, the court invited the Attorney General to give consideration to this question and to address the court in relation to it. The Attorney General deputed the task to his senior Crown Advocate and we are grateful to Mr. Whelan and indeed to Miss Fitz for their submissions.

It is convenient to deal with these matters of principle before going on to consider the substantive complaints about the content of the Deputy Bailiff's summing-up. They may be reduced to two questions: (a) is it necessary or desirable that the presiding judge's...

To continue reading

Request your trial
14 cases
  • Syvret v Bailhache and Hamon
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 28 April 1998
    ...247, dicta of Martin, J. applied. (28) Siale v. Fotofili, [1987] LRC (Const) 240, dicta of Martin, J. applied. (29) Snooks v. Att. Gen., 1997 JLR 253, considered. (30) Stephens (ne Baureiss) v. Stephens, 1989 JLR 284. (31) Stockdale v. Hansard (1839), 9 Ad. & El. 1; 112 E.R. 1112, dicta of ......
  • Bhojwani v AG
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 10 February 2011
    ...JLR 196 . AG v Capuano [2003] JRC 211 . R v Greig [2010] EWCA Crim 1183 . R v Thomas and others [2009] EWCA Crim 1682 . Snooks v. AG [1997] JLR 253 . R v Stoddart 2 Cr. App. R. 217 . AG v Bhojwani [2008] JRC 172A . R v. Turner [1975] 1 QB 834 . AG v. Edmond-O'Brien [2006] JLR 133 . ......
  • X v Attorney General
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 23 March 2011
    ...(5) R. v. Welstead, [1996] 1 Cr. App. R. 59, applied. (6) R. v. Wilmot (1988), 89 Cr. App. R. 341, applied. (7) Snooks v. Att. Gen., 1997 JLR 253, followed. Additional cases cited by counsel: Associated Provncl. Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury Corp., [1947] 2 All E.R. 680. Att. Gen. v. No......
  • Caboz v Attorney General
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 2 March 2004
    ...Soffe, The Times, April 5th, 2000. R. v. Stosiek (1982), 4 Cr. App. R. (S.) 205. R. v. Welby, [2000] Crim. L.R. 59. Snooks v. Att. Gen., 1997 JLR 253. Text cited: Thomas, 3 Current Sentencing Practice, para. B2-1.3 (1996). Criminal Procedure—sentence—sentencing information—summary of facts—......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT