Permission to appeal

Permission to appeal decision

13 April 2017

The Supreme Court has today announced its decision on the following permission to appeal applications. This decision was made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

R (on the application of Nealon) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent) UKSC 2017/0001

R (on the application of Hallam) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent) UKSC 2016/0227

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (England and Wales)

Permission for Mr Nealon and Mr Hallam to appeal was granted in a case relating to wrongful convictions and whether restrictions on compensation awards for certain cases breaches Article 6 of the ECHR.

The issue in this case is whether the definition of a "miscarriage of justice" in s.133(1ZA) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, which has the effect of restricting awards of compensation to cases in which a new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person did not commit the offence, is incompatible with the presumption of innocence in Article 6(2) ECHR.

The appellants were convicted of serious criminal offences, but their convictions were subsequently quashed. The Secretary of State rejected their claims for compensation under s.133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 on the basis that it was not the case, as subsection (1ZA) of the section required, that a "new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice". The appellants sought judicial review of this decision, contending that it amounted to a breach of the presumption of innocence enshrined in Article 6(2) ECHR. The Divisional Court dismissed their claims on the basis that (i) the Supreme Court's decision in R (Adams) v Secretary of State for Justice [2011] UKSC 18, [2012] 1 AC 48 is binding authority for the proposition that Article 6(2) does not apply to compensation decisions under s.133, notwithstanding contrary authority of the European Court of Human Rights and (ii) even if Article 6(2) does apply, there is no incompatibility. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Divisional Court.

The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal and a hearing will be scheduled in due course.

The Court of Appeal judgment being appealed is available here: