Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Delay and its various remedies

The Privy Council has recently corrected any impression that may have existed about when unreasonable delay should result in the staying of proceedings or the quashing of a conviction: Tapper v DPP (Jamaica) [2012] UKPC 26 (17 July 2012).

The quashing of a conviction is only appropriate where delay prevents a fair trial or where delay makes it unfair to put the defendant on trial at all: Boolell v The State (Mauritius) [2006] UKPC 46 (noted here on 18 October 2006).

Other remedies may be the reduction of a sentence or if the defendant is acquitted the payment of compensation, the making of a public apology, or the expediting of a trial without further delay: Attorney-General's Reference No 2 of 2001 [2003] UKHL 68 per Lord Bingham at [24]-[25], applied in Tapper.