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MP calls for urgent reform on joint enterprise sentencing

(Posted on 06/09/22)

MP calls for urgent reform on joint enterprise sentencing

Today (Tuesday 6 September) Barry Sheerman MP (Labour, Huddersfield) has lodged an Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament. 

The motion reads:  

That this House recognises the tragic impact that miscarriages of justice have on victims, their family and friends; notes that the legal doctrine of Joint Enterprise has been prone to erroneous use through the misapplication of Parasitic Accessorial Liability before 2016 as identified by the Supreme Court in the case of R v Jogee (2016) UKSC 8; acknowledges that avenues for appeal are limited for those convicted with only two out of 103 appeals made with reference to the 2016 judgement having been successful; recognises that this is because of uncertain interpretation and multiple common law judgements that have resulted in a strict set of requirements for an appeal to succeed; is extremely concerned that the limited access to appeals is resulting in miscarriages of justice and that a new avenue for appeals is necessary; and calls on Members to support the Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Bill on Tuesday 6 September 2022 which would give leave to appeal an unspent conviction when there has been a material change to the law.

In an article published in the Times newspaper today Mr Sheerman wrote: "When I founded the All-Party Group for Miscarriages of Justice in 2017, I intended to bring together experts in the area to critically assess our justice system, to seal the cracks that were opening. One such crack is the niche doctrine of joint enterprise, in other words, being found “guilty by association”. Today, I am presenting the Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Bill to parliament, which if passed would remedy the chronic issues with this law."

The EDM can be read on the parliamentary website.  

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