The Serious Fraud Office’s powers of compulsion pursuant to Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987

According to a report commissioned by Pinsent Masons last year, the number of Section 2 notices issued by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) has more than doubled in the five years leading up to 2017/2018. Unlike the application process to obtain a search warrant under Section 2(4) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“CJA”), no judicial oversight is required for the SFO to exercise its powers to require individuals to answer questions or produce documents under Sections 2(2) and 2(3) of the CJA. In light of this upward trend and growing concern over the SFO’s tendency to resort to the use of Section 2 notices, Sean Curran (Partner, Arnold & Porter) and John Carl Townsend (Barrister, Carmelite Chambers) shine a spotlight on the SFO’s surprisingly broad Section 2 powers and recap the restrictions in place which moderate them.

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Judicial Impartiality at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

In 2018, the Defence team for General Ratko Mladić on appeal applied to disqualify three judges from the appeal bench on the basis that the findings made about the accused criminal responsibility by Judges Meron, Agius and Liu in previous judgements would cause a reasonable observer properly informed to reasonably apprehend bias against General Ratko Mladić. For the first time in the history of the Tribunal, the applications were upheld on this ground. The Appeals Chamber rejected the Prosecution’s subsequent attempts to appeal the decision. Peta-Louise took a leading role in drafting the defence submissions, and explains the approach taken by Judge Antonetti to the Defence disqualification applications and the Prosecution’s submissions on appeal.

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Private Prosecutions

Charles Bott QC and Richard Furlong, who have considerable experience in both conducting and defending against private prosecutions, argue that it is sometimes better for an injured party to take action in the criminal courts rather than either waiting for the CPS to act, or pursuing a case in the civil courts and getting bogged down.

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