Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 115 (Jan)
Court: Divisional Court

Auld LJ and Gage J

Representation Peter Blair (instructed by Stephen Prentice) for the Environment Agency.
  The defendants did not appear and were not represented.
Judgment Dates: 18 January 2002


Criminal evidence - Burden of proof - Negative averment - Prohibition on acts subject to proviso, exception, excuse or qualification - Prosecution contending that defendants dumping special unlicensed waste on licensed or exempted area - Whether prosecution having burden of proving defendant dumping contaminated waste outside exemptions - s 33(1)(a) - Magistrates' Court Act 1980, s 101.

The Case

In the context of cases brought under s33(1)(a) of the the court was obliged first to consider whether there was an exemption in play, and then to consider carefully the issues of fact, before applying s101 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980. A case by case approach should be taken, as opposed to a blanket s101 approach in such complex cases.

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