Case details

R v Copeland (AP) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0089

This case is not being live streamed, in accordance with the Reporting Restrictions in place. It is being filmed, to serve as the Court’s record of the case.

Please note that there is 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. Full details relating to these Reporting Restrictions are outlined at the bottom of this webpage.

Case summary


For the purposes of section 4(1) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, can personal experimentation or own private education, absent some ulterior lawful purpose, be regarded as a "lawful object"?


Mr Copeland was charged with two counts of having in his possession an explosive substance in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that he had not made it for a lawful purpose, contrary to s.4(1) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.



Chez Copeland


Crown Prosecution Service



Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen

Hearing start date

27 Jan 2020

Hearing finish date

27 Jan 2020


Reporting restrictions

R v Copeland (AP) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0089

THE COURT ORDERED that in accordance with section 37 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, the following reporting restrictions continue to apply.

Until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings or further order of this court or the Crown Court, nothing may be reported except the following:

  1. the identity of the court(s) and the name of the judge(s);
  2. the name, age, home address and occupation of the accused;
  3. the offences, or a summary of them, with which the accused is charged;
  4. the names of counsel and solicitors engaged in the appeal;
  5. whether for the purposes of the appeal representation was provided to the accused under Part 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.