Case details

R v AB and CD (Appellants)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0080

Case summary


Does the phrase in s. 17(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000 "has reasonable cause to suspect" have the same meaning as "has a reasonable suspicion"?


The appellant husband and wife are charged with three counts of entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism contrary to s. 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Their teenaged son converted to Islam in 2013 and in 2014 travelled to the Middle East. In September of that year, the appellants discovered that he had travelled to Syria. The prosecution contends that he was in territory controlled by Islamic State. The charges arise from money sent by the appellants at the request of their son. The first transfer was made after their son asked that money be transferred to a third party who was not in Syria and who, they were assured, had "nothing to do with jihad". Two further transfers were attempted after requests from their son that they send money to enable him to leave Syria. The prosecution case is that, while the appellants do not support Islamic State in any way, they nevertheless sent money in circumstances where they either knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that it might have been used for terrorist purposes. At a preparatory hearing, the Recorder of London ruled that s. 17(b) requires the prosecution to prove only that there was reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of information of which the defendant was aware, that property the subject of a funding arrangement might be used for the purposes of terrorism. There was no further requirement for the defendant actually to have entertained that suspicion. The appellants' appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Crim 129


  1. AB
  2. CD




Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Burnett

Hearing start date

19 Apr 2018

Hearing finish date

19 Apr 2018

Watch hearing
19 Apr 2018 Morning session