Court of Appeal accepts Tom Little QC’s submissions on whether a Defendant must be at their s51 sending hearing

23 Apr, 2021

The Court of Appeal have finally determined the question of whether a represented Defendant must also be personally present at his section 51 sending to the Crown Court in order for proceedings in the Crown Court to be lawful.

Tom Little QC appeared for the prosecution in the Court of Appeal having not appeared below. The Court of Appeal having considered the origins of all of the relevant statutory provisions accepted Tom Little QC’s submission that the wording of section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which states “appears or is brought before” does not require personal presence by virtue of the deeming provision in section 122 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1981. In doing so he persuaded the Court of Appeal to depart from the CPS’s own guidance and to decide that previous decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court were decided per incuriam.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.


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