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Example Statement Of Facts And Grounds Notes

BPTC Law Notes > Judicial Review Notes

This is an extract of our Example Statement Of Facts And Grounds document, which we sell as part of our Judicial Review Notes collection written by the top tier of City Law School students.

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R (on the application of) XXX Claimant
- and -

XXX Defendant



1. The Claimant seeks to challenge the Defendants decision to XXX Factual background

2. XXX The correspondences

3. By a letter dated 7th June 2016, the Claimants solicitor requested for the Gladbury Magistrates Court to exercise their discretion under section 142(2) of the Magistrates Court Act 1980 to re-open the case.

4. This request was denied by a letter dated 11th July 2016 which states:


5. By a letter dated 25th July 2016, the Claimants solicitor requested for further consideration on the matter. It states, inter alia: Quote

6. In a letter dated 12th August 2016, the Defendant rejected the Claimants solicitor contention and attached an extract of the XXX. The XXX discloses the reasons that the Magistrates proceeded in the absence of the Defendant during the trial.

7. The XXX states: Quote

8. The XXX further states: Quote

LEGAL FRAMEWORK (a) Proceed in Absence i.


9. Under s11 of the Magistrates Act 1980 (""MA 1980), the Defendant has power to proceed in the Claimants absence "unless it appears to the court to be contrary to the interests of justice to do so."

10. s11 (2A) MA 1980 provides that the Defendant "shall not proceed in the absence of the accused if it considers that there is an acceptable reason for his failure to appear."

11. s11 (4) MA 1980 states that "the court shall not in a person's absence impose any disqualification on him". The Defendant has to grant an adjournment before passing this sentence.

ii. Criminal Procedure Rule

15. Rule 1.1 states: (1)

The overriding objective of this procedural code is that criminal cases be dealt with justly.


Dealing with a criminal case justly includes---

acquitting the innocent and convicting the guilty;


dealing with the prosecution and the defence fairly;


recognising the rights of a defendant, particularly those under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights;


respecting the interests of witnesses, victims and jurors and keeping them informed of the progress of the case;


dealing with the case efficiently and expeditiously;


ensuring that appropriate information is available to the court when bail and sentence are considered; and


dealing with the case in ways that take into account---

the gravity of the offence alleged,


the complexity of what is in issue,


the severity of the consequences for the defendant and others affected, and


the needs of other cases.

12. Under rule 24.11, the Defendant "must adjourn the hearing if the defendant is absent" when the Defendant "considers imposing a disqualification (unless it has already adjourned the hearing to give the defendant an opportunity to attend)" (rule 24.11 (10)(a) (ii)).

13. Rule 24.12 states that the general rule that Defendant must proceed with the trial as if the accused were present and had pleaded not guilty "subject also to rule 24.11(10)(a) (restrictions on passing sentence in the defendant's absence)." (rule 24.11 (3)(d))


Case law

14. R v Hayward; R v Jones; R v Purvis [2001] EWCA Crm 168 Rose LJ held, inter alia:

In our judgment, in the light of the submissions which we have heard and the English and European authorities to which we have referred, the principles which should guide the English courts in relation to the trial of a defendant in his absence are these:

1. A defendant has, in general, a right to be present at his trial and a right to be legally represented.

2. Those rights can be waived, separately or together, wholly or in part, by the defendant himself. They may be wholly waived if, knowing, or having the means of knowledge as to, when and where his trial is to take place, he deliberately and voluntarily absents himself and/or withdraws instructions from those representing him. They may be waived in part if, being present and represented at the outset, the defendant, during the course of the trial, behaves in such a way as to obstruct the proper course of the proceedings and/or withdraws his instructions from those representing him.

3. The trial judge has a discretion as to whether a trial should take place or continue in the absence of a defendant and/or his legal representatives.

4. That discretion must be exercised with great care and it is only in rare and exceptional cases that it should be exercised in favour of a trial taking place or continuing, particularly if the defendant is unrepresented.

5. In exercising that discretion, fairness to the defence is of prime importance but fairness to the prosecution must also be taken into account. The judge must have regard to all the circumstances of the case including, in particular:

(i) the nature and circumstances of the defendant's behaviour in absenting himself from the trial or disrupting it, as the case may be and, in particular, whether his behaviour was deliberate, voluntary and such as plainly waived his right to appear; (ii) whether an adjournment might result in the defendant being caught or attending voluntarily and/or not disrupting the proceedings; (iii) the likely length of such an adjournment; (iv) whether the defendant, though absent, is, or wishes to be, legally represented at the trial or has, by his conduct, waived his right to representation; (v) whether an absent defendant's legal representatives are able to receive instructions from him during the trial and the extent to which they are able to present his defence; (vi) the extent of the disadvantage to the defendant in not being able to give his account of events, having regard to the nature of the evidence against him; (vii)

the risk of the jury reaching an improper conclusion

about the absence of the defendant; (viii)

the seriousness of the offence, which affects defendant,

victim and public; (ix) the general public interest and the particular interest of victims and witnesses that a trial should take place within a reasonable time of the events to which it relates; (x) the effect of delay on the memories of witnesses;

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