Case details

In the matter of an application by Dennis Hutchings for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0040

Case summary

  1. On a true construction of condition 4 in section 1 of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 (the "2007 Act"), does it embrace members of the security forces in Northern Ireland accused of offences that are not part of sectarian violence?;
  2. Do the ordinary rules of natural justice apply to the issuance of a certificate under section 1 of the 2007 Act?

The appellant, Dennis Hutchings, was in 1974 a serving soldier with the Life Guards Regiment. Two charges of attempted murder and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent were brought against him in 2015 relating to the death by shooting of John Patrick Cunningham in June 1974. The proceedings are currently at an interlocutory stage before the Crown Court in Belfast. In April 2016, the respondent DPP issued a certificate under section 1 of the 2007 Act (the "Certificate"). The effect of the Certificate is to prevent the appellant from being tried by a jury and instead requires that he be tried by a judge alone. The appellant appealed against this decision, arguing that the conditions in section 1 were not met.

Judgment appealed

[2017] NIQB 121



Dennis Hutchings


Director of Public Prosecutions



Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

14 Mar 2019

Hearing finish date

14 Mar 2019

Watch hearing
14 Mar 2019 Morning session Afternoon session