Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 161 (Feb)
Neutral Citation: [2014] EWCA Crim 188
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Judge:

Lord Thomas CJ, Treacy LJ and Burnett J

Representation Joe Stone for N.
  James Eadie QC and Louis Mably for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 18 February 2014

Catchwords

Sentence - Mandatory life sentence - Murder - First defendant being sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum term of 40 years for murder - Second defendant being sentenced to life imprisonment with whole life order for murder - Second defendant appealing - Attorney General referring case of first defendant - Proceedings challenging statutory scheme enacted for sentencing adult guilty of murder on basis incompatible with human rights - Whether scheme being compatible with human rights - Whether judge erring in imposing defendants' sentences - , - European Convention on Human Rights, art 3.

The Case

Sentence Mandatory life sentence. The first defendant had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years and the second defendant had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order. The instant proceedings challenged the statutory scheme enacted for sentencing an adult guilty of murder as incompatible with art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the statutory regime was compatible with art 3 of the Convention, as it provided to an offender 'hope' or the 'possibility' of release in exceptional circumstances which rendered the just punishment originally imposed no longer justifiable. In the defendants' circumstances, whole life orders were appropriate.

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