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Doctrine of Joint Enterprise comes under scrutiny

View profile for Elizabeth Bradshaw
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The Supreme Court is hearing two appeals in cases where convictions were gained under the doctrine of Joint Enterprise, which allows several people to be charged with the same offence, even though they may have played very different roles.

Ameen Jogee and Mohammed Hirsi, both in their 20s, were given life sentences after being convicted of Paul Fyfe's murder at Nottingham Crown Court in March 2012.

Jurors heard that Hirsi had stabbed Mr Fyfe at a house in Leicester in June 2011 while being encouraged by Jogee.

A judge imposed a minimum 22-year term on Hirsi and a minimum 20-year term on Jogee. Jogee's minimum term was later cut to 18 years by the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court is to consider 'whether the prosecution must prove that a secondary offender, who encouraged the primary offender to commit some harm, foresaw the primary offender's acquisition and use of a weapon for murder as "probable" rather than "possible" in order to establish joint enterprise'

The hearing could result in the conviction being quashed and a retrial. 

In December 2014, the House of Commons Justice Committee voiced concerns that 'minor players' had been convicted of murder and called for a review of the law. 

Campaigners say up to 600 people are serving life for murder as a result of unjust joint enterprise convictions.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which hears final appeals from many current and former Commonwealth countries as well as UK overseas territories, is considering a case involving the murder of a taxi driver in Jamaica. 

The judgments in both cases will be reserved and are expected to be published in the New Year.

If you require legal advice or representation on current or pending prosecution please contact Elizabeth Bradshaw on either 01206 369889 or bradshawe@gepp.co.uk 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. 

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