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Aiding and Abetting

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL6221, tabled on 12 March 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of concerns about the application of the principle of joint enterprise in criminal cases; and whether they intend (1) to initiate a review of the state of the law in this area, and (2) to collect and publish statistics of murder and other cases in which that principle has been applied since 2014.

Answered on

21 March 2018

This Government does not believe that any changes to the law on joint enterprise are currently needed, but will keep the matter under review. The Supreme Court judgment in R v Jogee amended the law in this area and it is for our independent courts to interpret the law, as laid down by the Supreme Court. The Crown Prosecution Service has amended its guidance on secondary liability for prosecutors in line with the Jogee judgment, and has consulted on that guidance which aims to provide a clear direction for prosecutors in this area of law.

The Ministry of Justice only collects information on how many defendants are prosecuted and convicted for each offence in any given year. Information is not collated on whether a prosecution or conviction relied on the law of joint enterprise. Such information may be held on court records, but could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Going forward the collection of data on joint enterprise cases is being considered as part of the Common Platform Programme. The Common Platform aims to provide a single case management system that will enable the sharing of evidence and case information across the Criminal Justice System.