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Misick and others (Appellants) v The Queen (Respondent) (Turks and Caicos)
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1 User Commentary

Melanie Davidson (In-house lawyer) 28 September 2015

Case Digest: Misick and others (Appellants) v The Queen (Respondent) (Turks and Caicos) [2015] UKPC 31

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The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council handed down its judgment on 25 June 2015 in Misick and others (Appellants) v The Queen (Respondent) (Turks and Caicos) [2015] UKPC 31 before Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes and Lord Toulson.

The appellants faced prosecution in the Turks and Caicos Islands for offences of conspiracy to accept bribes in public office, conspiracy to defraud and associated money laundering.This led to the partial suspension of the Constitution along with the right to trial by jury by the British government.

Two challenges arose in the trial:

i) The trial judge lack sufficient length of appointment to demonstrate proper judicial independence.

ii) The trial judge applied the wrong approach when he decided that trial by judge alone was required.

In a judgment given prepared by Lord Hughes, the board agreed that Harrison J was appointed ad hoc and selected from a jurisdiction outside of the island, to ensure that judicial independence was exercised. Trial by jury alone was necessary in the “interests of justice” due to the fact that it would be difficult to assemble an unbiased jury, who would not have a prior knowledge or comments about the trial.

The appeal was dismissed.


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