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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> Boardman, R v  EWCA Crim 175 (26 February 2015)
Cite as:  WLR(D) 92,  EWCA Crim 175
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ON APPEAL FROM THE CROWN COURT AT CHESTER
HIS HONOUR JUDGE DUTTON
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(SIR BRIAN LEVESON)
MR JUSTICE ANDREW SMITH
MR JUSTICE PHILLIPS
| THE QUEEN
|- and -
Miss Frances Willmott for the Respondent
Hearing date : 3 February 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Sir Brian Leveson P :
"It is ... necessary to ensure that the scarce resources are not wasted or used inefficiently. Demands on public funds must be kept to a minimum while, at the same time, ensuring that the delivery of justice is effective and meets the highest standards that any democratic society is entitled to expect."
"Whatever we do, we must encourage a reduced tolerance for failure to comply with court directions along with a recognition of the role and responsibilities of the Judge in matters of case management. It cannot be right that a 'culture of failure' has developed in the courts, fed by an expectation that deadlines will not be met. If a deadline (e.g. for service of a document(s) or an application) is not met, there must be good reason for it and there must be an expectation that the party which failed to comply can provide that reason. A failure to tackle this culture leads to a general indifference to rule compliance. Whichever party has failed to comply or failed to meet the deadline, the opponent perceives objection as a waste of time because it will be largely pointless: there is no sanction that can be applied. Perhaps most significantly, it allows cases to 'drift', and for further hearings to take place unnecessarily."
"As far as the court's responsibilities are concerned, case management and efficient and effective case management is an essential aspect of the conduct of criminal cases in these courts. Everybody well knows that the culture of adjournments is a thing of the past. There were days and times when cases would almost automatically be adjourned for one reason or another at the trial hearing because various things hadn't been done. But that has well and truly gone in accordance with the criminal rules. Efficient case management in pursuit of the overriding objective as set out by the rules is vital. The judge must deal efficiently and expeditiously with the case while dealing fairly, of course, to both sides, recognising the rights of the accused and of course respecting the interest of victims and witnesses and therefore, as Rule 3 indicates, adjournment should be refused unless absolutely necessary and justified.
.... The reality is that the defence is entitled to have access to the call data and full cell site data to which the Crown have had access, and to have access to it before either the 3rd September, the 12th September or the 7th October, which is when that service of information is now said to have actually been completed.
... I am extremely anxious that in a case of this kind there has been a lamentable failure on the part of the prosecution, whether it be the police to provide the proper data, or whether the CPS to manage that data and to transfer it on in an acceptable form and I feel, I am afraid, that those who are victims will feel badly let down by the rather lackadaisical manner in which this serious case has been prosecuted. I am the first to acknowledge that all agencies within the criminal court process are currently under pressure of time and of monetary consideration but none of that, I am afraid, is any excuse for lamentable inefficiency and inactivity."
"Dealing with a criminal case justly includes?
(a) acquitting the innocent and convicting the guilty;
(b) dealing with the prosecution and the defence fairly;
(c) recognising the rights of a defendant, particularly those under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
(d) respecting the interests of witnesses, victims and jurors and keeping them informed of the progress of the case;
(e) dealing with the case efficiently and expeditiously;
(f) ensuring that appropriate information is available to the court when bail and sentence are considered; and
(g) dealing with the case in ways that take into account? (i) the gravity of the offence alleged, (ii) the complexity of what is in issue, (iii) the severity of the consequences for the defendant and others affected, and (iv) the needs of other cases."
"When trial judges act in accordance with these principles, the directions they give ... in the exercise of their case management responsibilities, will be supported in this court. Criticism is more likely to be addressed to those who ignore them."