Jeremy Johnson QC and Georgina Wolfe successful in Roberts appeal – stop and search pursuant to s60 CJPA 1994

Jeremy Johnson QC and Georgina Wolfe successfully appeared on behalf of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis in the Court of Appeal in R (on the application of Ann Juliette Roberts) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 69.

 

The appellant (R) was subjected to a stop and search pursuant to an authorisation under s60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994. When she tried to resist, she was handcuffed and her bag was searched. R claimed that s60 was incompatible with Articles 5 and 8 ECHR and that there had been a breach of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 8 in that the power was used disproportionately to search black people.

HELD: (1) Article 5 had no application since there had been no deprivation of liberty by reason of the s60 search. The fact that the subject’s behaviour, or a positive result from the search, might lead to arrest and detention was irrelevant. The search procedure would ordinarily be relatively brief and would not involve a deprivation of liberty. (2) Whilst Article 8 was engaged by reason of the potential humiliation and embarrassment caused by the search, the s60 power was “in accordance with the law”. The power was not arbitrary. It was subject to temporal and territorial limitations; it had to be based on local intelligence; and the requirement of reasonable belief in specified matters on the part of the authorising officer introduced an objective element which made the power susceptible to judicial review. (3) No breach of Article 14 had been established. The statistics relating to the alleged disproportionate use of s60 to search black people were controversial and the Court declined to become embroiled in such material. R was not subjected to the search because of her ethnicity but because she had drawn attention to herself as a fare-dodger at a time and place where a s60 authorisation was in place.