Case details

R v MacKinlay and others (Respondents)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0091

The Court has made a Reporting Restrictions Order in this case. These restrictions apply to members of the public using Twitter or other social media channels in the same way as they do to professional journalists. For more information, please see Reporting Restrictions below. If in doubt, consult the Communications Team.

Although the whole case will be recorded, we will only live stream the few minutes at the start of the hearing when Lady Hale will explain the Reporting Restrictions Order.

Case summary


Criminal proceedings were initiated against the respondents on 2 June 2017, when they were charged with offences contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983, relating to election expenses. At a preparatory hearing in February 2018 Mr Justice Edis gave a ruling on a question of law relating to the case but, on appeal to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, that ruling was reversed. The Court of Appeal then certified the question above as a point of law of general public importance to be decided by the Supreme Court.



Director of Public Prosecutions

  1. Craig Mackinlay
  2. Nathan Gray
  3. Marion Little

The Electoral Commission



Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Hodge, Lord Hughes, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

23 May 2018

Hearing finish date

23 May 2018


Reporting Restrictions

R v MacKinlay and others (Respondents)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0091

There are strict reporting restrictions in place, because:
  1. this is a criminal case in which any trial has yet to begin and no one yet knows what the evidence will be, still less what facts will be established;
  2. An Act of Parliament automatically prevents publication until after the trial of pre-trial proceedings except for the barest of details: names, addresses and the offences alleged; the aim is to ensure that the jury is not at risk of being affected by anything published and that the trial is not prejudiced in any way;
  3. it follows that there cannot be live streaming or the full reporting of the proceedings; and
  4. the restrictions will last until the end of any trial or further order, but will not be permanent.
The matters which may be reported are:
  1. the identity of the courts and the name of the judges involved in these proceedings;
  2. the name, age, home address and occupation of the accused (the respondents);
  3. the offences with which the accused (the respondents) are charged;
  4. the names of counsel and solicitors engaged in the proceedings;
  5. the fact that a hearing took place on 15th August 2017;
  6. the fact that a trial had been fixed to commence on 14th May 2018 with an estimate of 6 weeks at Southwark Crown Court; and
  7. the fact that the accused (the respondents) were all granted either conditional or unconditional bail.